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Starting out as a Reserve


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  • Starting out as a Reserve

    Is starting out as a reserve a good way to get your foot in the door with a department? Will departments usally put you on faster as a reserve? Is it easier to get on as a reserve? I am going to continue to go to school and work in LP for now, but would love the experience. Would like to get on with CMPD, whether it be full time or reserve. Any advice would be great!

  • #2

    In my experience, reserves are a two edged sword. First of all you will get to see some of the inside workings of a particular dept. BUT regular officers sometimes treat reserves like stepchildren.

    If you are confident in your quest I would say that reserves is a great way to see if LE is what you should do long term. Some depts have active reserves who have arrest powers and basically the same powers as full timers with some restrictions. If you are certified and a reserve you would have the same powers as a full time (at least where I live).

    I would ask if the commander of the reserves is a full time officer or a long time reserve officer. It makes a big difference as civilians playing cop and those who have done it a long time are very hard to please in my experience. Especially civilians with police rank in the reserve unit. They also tend to want to keep you as a reserve because of some idiotic notion that if you become full time that you are better than them. A full time police commander will do everything in their power to help you and not hold you back, if you have the right one.

    just my two $ for what its worth...speaking from experience.


    • #3
      In my area, none of the departments have reserve officers. However they're pretty common in most other parts of the state.

      I think the reserve experience (and, therefore, it's use as a stepping stone to FT) differs by department. I know a lot of cops that got their start as reserves. If you want to join a particular department, beginning as a reserve (assuming something prevents you from being hired FT from the get-go) really can't hurt you, in my eyes. Get in, show your stuff, do a good job, learn the inner workings of the department and you'll have a step up on the competition come hiring time.

      But if you work reserves for one department and want to get hired by another, be cognizant of how that reserve program is viewed by other agencies. It could hurt, rather than help, your cause.

      Case in point: Our county had a department with a very bad reputation. The department didn't have reserves, but it did hire part-time officers. Some guys worked PT there while they were looking for a FT job elsewhere (very few wanted to work FT for the department, primarily for pay issues). But once it came up that the applicant was associated with this department, he or she was a bit tarnished. The job they thought would provide a little boost to the job hunt actually hindered them.
      Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


      • #4
        Hello, everything that has been said in the past repsonses are right on track. I have been a reserve/part-time deputy for the past seven years. My department gives our reserves some great experience, but that depends on what shift that yopu are assigned to at the time. Some full-time deputies feel that you are a threat to them, for some stupid reason, but when the crap jobs need to get filled we are just great.We do all of the boat and snowmobile patrol in the county, which is all paid duty. I feel the experence is well worth some of the crap that you have to put up with. When it comes time to go full-time the experience will put you ahead of all the applicants with no experience. Choice your department very wisely ( like the other response stated), the experinece you gain might be a down fault. Overall, go and get your feet wet in the reserves. Law enforcment is great, but it isnt for everyone.
        Last edited by dcminnesota; 06-12-2005, 10:42 AM.


        • #5

          Best Thing To Do Is Try A Ride Along With A Reserve With The Dept You Wish To Work For, If Its Offered. My Experience, Would Say Dont Waste Your Time. Applied For Full Time Position In 01, Got Cut In Background, Next Month They Called And Asked If Interested In Being Reserve, Breezed Right Through Process, And Currently Reserve With The Dept...last Year, With 2 Yrs On As A Reserve, Applied For Full Time Job Again. My Dept Hired Total Of 33, Cut 8 Of Their Own 10 Reserves Who Applied. I Was Dropped At The Mmpi, Because My Results Show I Dont Do Well In Chain Of Command Type Situations, And I Also Tend Not To Be Bothered Or Upset As Easily As Others, This Coming From The Doc Who Gave The Test.... Yet I Still Carry The Same Glock, Badge, Wear Same Uniform, Drive Same Squad....also Completed A Reserve Acadmey Put On By My Dept That Was 325 Hours Of Free Training...and Still Was Not Good Enough...this Is One Example Of How The Reserve Thing Can Go. Like I Said Talk To A Reserve With The Dept Your Interested In...dont Talk To A Ranking Officer Because They Will Tell You Want You Wnat To Hear To Boost Their Numbers...


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