Life of a Reserve Police Officer

Life of a Reserve Police Officer

In 2017, we’ve come along way in the hiring and training of Reserve Police Officers in civilian law enforcement. From the onset, it has always been known throughout law enforcement Reserve Police Officers have been an asset to any agency.  However, it looks as though over time there has been a public outcry for Reserve Police Officers to have more and more training.  I would presume some of the outcry is from litigating attorneys who lambast the failure to train during court actions.  With that being said, we’re not sure how it has evolved over time but what we do know is the training has been good in any event.  Remember, most Reserve Police Officers have full-time jobs outside of law enforcement and come from many different walks of life.  The life of a Reserve Police Officer can take a toll on anyone and there have been incidents where Reserve Police Officers are placed in stressful situations in police work just like any other full-time officer.  Police stress is something that is inevitable to say the least, after all they are doing police work in the same trenches as everyone else. This stress bleeds over into the life of a Reserve Police Officer, so it is a lot to contend with it. Over all, the position of a Reserve Police Officer is rewarding and we can tell you there has been many times Reserve Police Officers have worn the hat as heroes in life.

Coping as a Reserve Police Officer

We all know that being a part-time Reserve Police Officer can be very rewarding but it still has a tone of great responsibility.  Some full-time officers still do not like the fact that a person can enjoy the position as a part-time Reserve Police Officer and many times believe the Reserve Police Officer must prove up their over all worth.  Well, the stigma will likely never go away as some full-time officers believe if a person wants to do the job he or she should be full-time.  Interestingly enough, it use to be the case where the full-time officer was down on the Reserve Police Officer because they lacked the proper academy training and had not fulfilled their duty.  Well, in California anyway, that is old news because nowadays the Reserve Police Officer must attend a full-time basic academy before hitting the streets.  So then, as you can clearly see the Reserve Police Officer has had a long road over the years to prove up their position.  Truly, it doesn’t make any difference the full-time officer will likely complain about something different even if they have the same training… I chalk it up to having a big ego.  I’ve personally met Reserve Police Officers who have PhD’s or JD’s  and have been through a regular basic police academy…so who is the better cop?  Exactly! 

Authority of a Reserve Police Officer

Yes, we all can say whatever we want about Reserve Police Officers not having the authority but the fact is they do have the same authority to arrest as a regular full-time officer.  Of course, I am speaking about Reserve Police Officer’s in the State of California versus other states within the union.  However, most are all the same across the board.  Reserve Police Officers regularly carryout the same duties as a regular full-time police officer and are tasked to assist the regular full-time police officer but that does not lessen their authority. Please do not get me wrong here, I am not lessening the authority of a regular full-time police officer either.  What I am getting to is the fact that although most Reserve Police Officers are non-compensated for their time they do possess arrest power. Can a Reserve Police Officer carry a concealed weapon?  Yes, most agencies allow them to carry concealed weapons and issue CCW permits, generally after one year of service.  I think it’s funny, when people ask because why shouldn’t they be allowed to carry a concealed weapon?  A lot of people have CCW permits and have never worn a uniform or been to a police academy in their life.  Now, I understand we all must go by the law but if you really think about it…there should be no question here…since Reserve Police Officer’s put their lives on the line and deal with the criminal element just like any regular full-time officer.

Are Reserve Police Officers allowed to drive police cars

Well, certainly they are and most Reserve Police Officers today actually drive on patrol by themselves!  Remember, most have the same academy training and field training as a regular full-time officer so there is really no difference. Reserve Police Officers also work many assignments including but not limited to working undercover vice, working undercover narcotics, working as detectives, working traffic units, working as motor officers, working as K-9 handlers and beyond!  So, yes they can drive marked patrol cars or unmarked undercover units…and yes they can arrest and book people for any type of crimes.  Yes, they can ride motor units as well, and yes they can issue citation just like any regular full-time officer.  They can also work on horses in mounted patrol or posse units which include transport police vehicles as well.  This of course all involves training and once the training is satisfied they’re off and running in whatever assignment they receive.  Some agencies have ultra-lights, planes or helicopters which Reserve Police Officers also drive or fly.  So, let’s be real here and understand that Reserve Police Officers are everywhere and in most departments nationwide and have the authority to everything a regular full-time police officer does!

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