You may see them driving police cars, riding with other Police Officers or patrolling on foot during special events. They are dressed in a dark uniform, fully equipped with safety gear. At first, you think it’s a regular, full time, paid Police Officer helping the community. It may be a City of Delano Reserve Police Officer.
The purpose of the Reserve Police Officer Program is to provide a cadre of well trained volunteers (non-paid) to augment regular officers. Reserve Officers ride along with regular officers and help provide quality police services to the community. They also provide support for special events such as parades, carnivals, driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints and parole/probation-gang sweeps, vice and narcotics operations to name a few. Reserve Officers are required to work a minimum of 16 hours each month and attend monthly meeting/training session.
Legislation enacted in 1978, and since amended, has created several levels of reserve officers with varying standards for selection and training. California Government Code Section 1031 establishes minimum qualifications for employment of police officers, including reserve officers. All applicants for this position must successfully pass a thorough background investigation, a psychological examination and a medical examination. To become a “Level I” reserve officer, the applicant must complete a Basic Police Academy. “Level II” reserve officers appointed to a “Level III” position for the first time after June, 30, 1999 must successfully complete the new Level III and Level II Modules as their entry-level training requirement. A “Level II” reserve officer works under the immediate supervision of a regular full time police officer possessing a basic P.O.S.T. certificate.
You might wonder why anyone would want to become a Reserve Police Officer and volunteer his or her time. To some, it’s a hobby. To others, they enjoy assisting, helping and supporting regular police officers. Some enjoy it and get an immediate sense of accomplishment when they help someone. Others find it a way to see if they want to embark on a career in law enforcement. Many regular officers served as reserve officers prior to being hired full time by law enforcement agencies.
There are currently 5 Reserve Police Officers currently working for the City of Delano with 15 total City of Delano authorized Reserve Police Officer positions. Citizens who desire to become a reserve police officer should contact the Reserve Coordinator, Sergeant Gary Johnson at (661) 721-3377 ext. 486 to learn more about the requirements of this exciting career.