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  • Definitions: Reserve/Auxiliary/Etc.

    Let me begin by saying I'm not looking to get into another discussion/argument over the relative merits of reserves et al. I'm just looking for some definitions. In previous discussions on the topic people seem to use some of these terms interchangeably. I know that they mean different things in different departements.

    So, can you define the following job descriptions from YOUR department's point of view and explain their function?

    1. Reserves
    2. Auxiliary
    3. Part-timers
    4. Special Officer/Deputy/Constable
    5. Community Service Officers (CSO)

    I'll start with my own experience.

    1. Reserves - Definition: Regular citizens that either volunteer or are paid a minimal hourly wage to assist the regular officers/deputies. Typically used at larger events for things like traffic direction, crowd control, checking IDs at the beer tents, etc. Not armed. No departments I'm aware of around here used them, but my hometown sheriff's dept. made use of them at the county fair, concerts, etc. No specific training required, to my knowledge.

    2. Auxiliary - Not applicable around here. I've never run into any dept that made use of auxiliary officers, though Milwuakee might have something like that.

    3. Part-timers - Definition: Fully certified police officers that have completed the same basic academy as full-timers. They just choose to work on a part-time basis. Most have regular jobs they don't want to give up (that's me!) or are working on getting a full-time gig and need some way to pay the bills and get experience in the mean time.

    4. Special - Not familiar with that term being used around here, but I've seen it crop up on other threads. It seems to be more of a British/Candian/Australian thing.

    5. CSO - Definition: A part-time position that does things like parking enforcement, crossing guard duties, bike law enforcement, etc. Not a sworn officer but with the ability to enforce certain local ordinances. Unarmed. Our department usually hires criminal justice students from one of the local universities, colleges or tech schools.
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    I'm a reserve for a PD in Southern Calif. I will try to define these as best I can. I think these definitions apply not only to my dept. but also most of the agencies in this area.

    1. Reserves: Unpaid volunteers who must meet the same selection criteria as regulars. CA POST mandates the selection and training requirements. CA uses a tier system for reserves. Peace officer powers extend only for the duration of their assignment. Some reserves have 24 hr. powers but of the 8000+ reserves in CA it is only about 100.
    Level I: May work alone and perform the same duties as full time reg. off. 953 hr. academy.
    Level II: May perform gen. law enforcement duties while under the immediate supervision of an officer who has completed the Basic Acad.
    512 hr. acad.
    Level III: May perform specified limited support duties. My dept. does not use Level III reserves. These are usually computer folks or SAR deputies and flight medics with the sheriff.
    A word about the acad. hrs. Most of our reserves come out of the San Bernardino Sheriffs Acad. so I have used their hrs. It is notorious for adding hours to their academies. They far exceed the CA POST minimums.

    2. Auxiliary: Haven't heard of them in CA.

    3. Part-timers: Don't have them to my knowledge around here.

    4. Specials: I think the railroad police are specials with the Sheriffs Dept.

    5. CSO: These are civilian non-sworn personnel who perform support duties. They are full time paid employees. They staff the front desk and do all the phone reports, tag and impound abandoned veh., staff the community police centers, ans. calls for service for cold res.burgs., fender benders, direct traffic. Things that would not require them to take someone into custody.


    • #3
      Re: Definitions: Reserve/Auxiliary/Etc.

      1. Reserves, we don't have those in VT. In Kansas it depended on the department whether or not they had peace officer powers and carried guns. The ones in my department carried guns if they were 21 and qualified, but they had no peace officer powers.

      2. Auxiliary, I don't know of any in Vermont. Didn't know of any in Kansas either, but I'm sure some depts. had them.

      3. Part-timers, they are used extensively in this state. They go through a part-time academy and a super extended FTO type training phase. During the training phase they only have police powers when with a fully certified officer. After the training phase they have all the peace officer powers of any other police officer.

      4. Special Officer/Deputy/Constable, some departments in Vermont call their part-time officers, Special Officers, or Special Deputies for the SO's.

      5. Community Service Officers (CSO), some of the big cities in Kansas had them, but I have not seen any in Vermont. They were there to take accident reports, broke down vehicles, etc.


      • #4
        Indiana Reserves

        Indiana has 92 counties and each has their own definition of what a reserve officer is and/or does. Some counties have no reserve program while others use them for fairs and special events. However there several counties in which reserves are used as patrol units. Of the 4 counties that I am aware of, all have required that their reserves attend a state certified academy which is equivalant to the full time officers training. This is followed by hadn on field training which is supervised by a reserve board and by the departmental brass.

        Here are the 4 different departmental policies:

        First of all each of the 92 Indiana Sheriffs decide their own policy and procedures. In the event that a reserve is killed in Indiana while on duty, their family is given the same benefits as a full time officers family by the state.

        One county only allows their reserves to ride with a full time officer and are given full police powers only during that time.
        Reserves must pay for ALL of their own equipment and uniform.

        One county gives their reserves police power 24/7 but they have no assigned shifts and work whenever they choose or are requested.
        Reserves must pay for ALL of their own equipment and uniform.

        One county gives their reserves police power 24/7 and assign specific dates and shifts to each reserve. Reserves are provided ALL of their equipment and uniforms by the department and given a yearly clothing allowance.

        One county gives their reserves police power 24/7 and if they if work enough hours routinely, they get a take home car as a perk. These individuals are then required to respond immediately if requested. They also have reserves take car of the transport unit and accident scenes so that the full time officers can do other things. Reserves are provided ALL of their equipment and uniforms by the department and given a yearly clothing allowance.

        There are counties in Indiana in which on any given day, there may be only 2 or 3 county officers working for over 400 square miles. One incident and the coverage becomes nearly nothing.

        No matter your opinion about reserves, they are actaully no different than yourself. They are trying to do what they think is right and to judge them says more about yourself than about them.


        • #5
          In Canada:

          - Constable: is the lowest full-time authorized-to-carry-firearms Peace Officer rank in all Police Services;

          - Special Constable: some Saskatchewan Police Services have some staff appointed to this rank, to perform complaint taking, dispatching or jail cell guarding duties. The RCMP USED to appoint some members to this rank for provost (prisoner escorting) duties (armed) or as aircraft pilots and air mechanical engineers (unarmed), but we are getting away from this rank. This appointment is also granted by the Province to Auxiliary Constables (below) for workers compensation insurance coverage, or by one Police Service to members of another Police Service that work in a joint forces operation with the other Police Service;

          - Supernumerary Special Constables: is for physicians appointed to conduct internal body cavity searches of suspects in the custody of a Police Service who are suspected of having swallowed or otherwise hidden contraband within their body orifices, or was used to hire University students in a make-work project where they worked alongside full-time Police Service members in a work-experience project to get them intereseted in Police work. "Supernumerary" meaning that they were paid, but not by the Police Service (physicians by the Provincial health system, students by the Federal employment services);

          - Auxiliary Constable: unpaid civilians with some limited training, who must volunteer a minimum of 160 hours of work a year with the Police Service they are attached to. Their uniform and training is provided free to them. They are Peace Officers ONLY when under the direct supervision of a full-time Peace Officer of the Police Service they work with. A/Cst are NOT authorized to regularly carry firearms when on duty, nor have any greater authority to possess or carry firearms when off duty than any other citizen.
          #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
          Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
          RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
          Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
          "Smile" - no!


          • #6
            Reserves- Sworn officers with full arrest powers. Usually used for picnics, fairs, community events. Also used for transports of prisoners to other jurisdictions and special enforcement such as boat, smowmobile patrol. Employed by Sheriffs Dept.

            Part Time- Sworn with full arrest powers. Work patrol. Fill in where necessary. No set hours or benefits. Conduct same work as full time patrol officers. Employed by city departments.

            Auxillary- Unpaid volunteers. No arrest powers. Usually retired or explorers. Basically an additional set of eyes for the Police Dept. We are establishing one now and there job description is kind of vague.

            CSO- Full time, un armed. Deals with animal complaints, parking enforcement, quality of life complaints, and some local ordinances. Limited arrest powers.


            • #7

              I see you're from WI as well. Do the duties of reserves in our state vary from dept to dept, or are they dictated by state law? Like I said, we don't have any around here and my last involvement with reserve deputies was over 20 years ago. I didn't realize they were had full arrest powers. Do they still have to go through the basic academy?
              Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


              • #8
                Keeping it civil:

                Auxiliary Officer: Depending on the city of town may or may not have police power. May or may not carry a weapon.
                Basicilly, any where in Mass they are not paid, volunteer citizens. My city gives us all the power, privalage as a regular officer, but only when we are on duty and in uniform.
                Some towns use them only as crossing gaurds. Some towns are somewhere in between.

                Cadet: We don't have them, but some cities here do. They are basicaly officers that sit behind the glass and takes complaints. They do get paid, but don't carry any weapons.

                Reserve Officers: In most cities and Towns they are 1/2 cops Most of them do go through the Full-time academy, but are ony on part-time status. They do paid details, and ride alongs with the full-time officers.

                Full-time officer: They do it all!

                We also have some other titles that I'm not 100% sure of:
                Specials I believe theu are secruity gaurds with arrest powers
                Intermedittes Reserves that qualify as full-time status, but are only part-time
                Site Officers: A believe they are sort of like Specials but are run by the cities

                Now as titles vary from state to state and country to country, they also vary town to town and county by county


                • #9
                  Reserves: Civilian Volunteers. They have no police powers per the State Statutes. They cannot carry sidearms unless they have a CCW permit. Most are not allowed to even carry while "working" as a reserve because of bylaws of the reserve organization.

                  Auxilliary: There are no such things in my area. Some places may have them in the state, but they are probably the same as Reserves (just a different name).

                  Part-Time Officers: Can only work 1040 hours a year as a police officer. Mostly are paid positions. No college is required. Must pass a written test, physical exam, psych exam, in order to be licensed. Must work under the supervison of a Full-Time officer. The full time person does not have to be on duty, just available by phone. (This is a state statute thing again). Have no police powers while they are off-duty. Part-time licensed Officers are not allowed to carry sidearms off-duty unless they have a CCW permit. Some agencies will not use part-time licensed officers. Our department does not use part timers, either fulltime or parttime licensed.

                  Full-Time Officers: Required to have a college degree (2 or 4 year). Must have taken college classes that are POST certified as meeting the POST guidelines for licensure. Full arrest powers. May carry off-duty w/o CCW Permit. Have arrest powers off-duty.

                  I think that's about it.

                  No, you've got the wrong number. This is 9-1....2.
                  - Police Chief Clancy Wiggum


                  • #10
                    Dang the reserves and aux. change alot from state to state.

                    Where I am at reserves and aux. have full police powers 24/7 and most departments allow you to carry off duty. In order to even do those postions you have to be OPOTA certified. I never heard of places until this forum that allows inexperienced people with no trainging do LE jobs.

                    Also reserves and aux here go out on patrol and sometimes do events when they come up, but once again it changes per department.
                    THE OTHER PLACE...A Forum to get away to

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                    • #11
                      The Reserves in our county go through the same basic academy as the full-time deputies. A lot of young people with little experience use the reserves as a way to get into the SO as full-time. They are guarenteed no hours and are very limited to what duties they are assigned to. They usually work picnics,fairs,transports,baliff,boat and snowmobile patrol. When in uniform the only way to distinguish them from a full time deputy is the their badge.
                      They don't get paid bad, somewhere between $11-13 an hour, no benefits and all duty gear most be supplied by the individual. Ive known some reserves, that actually work more than the full time deputies do.


                      • #12

                        What you call a reserve we would call a part-time officer.

                        See, the differences aren't just state-to-state, but department-to-department.

                        I never heard of places until this forum that allows inexperienced people with no trainging do LE jobs
                        In WI, a person can be a sworn police officer for up to 2 years without ever having a bit of training. After that, they have to at least be enrolled in a police academy and have up to a year to finish that for full certification. In the mean time, they have full powers of arrest and can be armed.

                        No department that I know of around here employs such officers but some of the small towns and villages will. The guy I bought my duty gear and sidearm from never had a lick of formalized police training but was hired by a small village as a PO because:

                        - He was a big guy
                        - He was a friend of the chief
                        - He was a paramedic in the big city

                        I imagine departments making use of such officers are getting rare due to the HUGE libability issue.

                        That being said, I can't be too critical of the practice. I was hired and started field training at my department two months before I was done with the academy.
                        Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


                        • #13
                          The difference between our County Reserves vs City Part Timers is that the Part Timers actually work Patrol and go through the Field Training Program.


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