RESERVE POLICE OFFICER

HOW TO BECOME A RESERVE POLICE OFFICER

If you’re interested in law enforcement, you might be interested in becoming a police officer, but you may not want to do it full-time. You could already have a job that you love, have other responsibilities that take up much of your time, or be retired. Whatever the case, becoming a reserve police officer could be for you.

FIND OUT WHICH AGENCY YOU WANT TO WORK FOR

Each law enforcement agency is going to be different. Some will pay reserve officers, and others only accept volunteers. If getting paid is important to you, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Since you won’t be working full-time, you probably won’t get benefits and will get paid per diem instead of a salary. Becoming a reserve police officer might help you a little financially depending on which agency you work with, but it’s not a career.

You also need to consider what kind of work you want to do. State police officers often work on highways and interstates and deal with traffic violations. They also try to catch drug traffickers. Agencies in rural areas have more ground to cover than other agencies do, so officers have to travel more, but they also get a variety of complaints to look into. An urban agency will usually be the busiest and most varied kind of agency to work for.

CONTACT THE AGENCY

Once you have a feel for what kind of agency will be best for you, start calling around and checking out websites. Contact the agencies that you’re interested in to ask if they have reserve officer programs and what the application process is like. Some calls will end in a few seconds after you find out a place isn’t looking for any more reserve officers, but others will have well-established, continual reserve programs.

If an agency seems interested in hiring another officer, see what the base requirements are. If an agency is looking for more reserve police officers but doesn’t offer any kind of training program, they might require that you get training elsewhere before starting. You also might have to be a college graduate, but many agencies are fine with hiring high school graduates. Act as if you’re being interviewed when asking questions – you don’t want to make a bad impression.

FILL OUT THE APPLICATION

After you feel that you have enough information, it’s time to actually fill out the application. Since you’re applying to a police department, expect that someone will be going over the application with a fine-tooth comb. Don’t try to make yourself look better by leaving things out or exaggerating, and send it in even if you feel that you’re an inadequate candidate. Agencies often seem more selective than they really are.

GET IN SHAPE

become reserve police officer

If an agency decides that you’re a good candidate to become a reserve police officer, you’ll have to go through a fitness test before you get the job. You might not be given very much notice before the test, so start preparing before you’re given a testing date. If you can’t run without getting winded or do more than a few pushups before flopping on the ground, now’s the time to start a rigorous fitness program. Don’t train too hard, though, or you could burn out on the day of your test.

PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW

Agencies want reserve police officers that are quick on their feet, honest, and can handle stress well, and you’ll get tested on all of this at your interview. You may get interviewed by a board of a few supervisors, and they’ll ask you about anything that needs clarifying from your application. You’ll probably be asked the standard set of interview questions along with hypothetical situations that you’re expected to respond to. If you’re a good candidate, you may be hired right away, or you could be put on the wait list until a position becomes open.

Becoming a reserve police officer is a very fulfilling way to spend part of your life. It allows you to help your community, learn new things, and gain new skills while letting you have time for other things.

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