Reserve deputies volunteer their time to assist the Sheriff’s Office employees with patrol and corrections duties, as well as crime prevention and special events. The Polk County Sheriff Reserves also have the opportunity to be a part of our Marine Patrol Unit working on the Willamette River promoting safe boating practices. However, the primary mission for our Reserve Unit is to have a strong interest in serving the community as part-time peace officers, while supplementing the full-time deputies and assisting in various ways with their duties.
Many reserves have launched their full-time law enforcement careers by starting as a reserve deputy. “Over 50% of our full-time patrol staff, including our Patrol Sergeants, have started their careers as a Polk County Reserve Deputy,” says Sheriff Bob Wolfe. Sheriff Wolfe further commented, “A Reserve Deputy Program is really like a Law Enforcement apprenticeship program which allows agencies like ours the ability to hire individuals, and teach them the skills that they will use on the job so they can assist us in our mission. Having this type of training and experience opens a lot of doors when they seek full-time employment.”
New reserves are required to attend and graduate from the Mid Valley Reserve Training Academy. This training will provide the foundation and knowledge base for someone to start their career in law enforcement. Polk County Reserves are also afforded ongoing training throughout the year after they graduate from the Academy to help maintain their skills in various areas which include firearms, use of force, defensive tactics and current case law.
"Polk County has benefited greatly by hiring Reserve Deputies. This type of hiring and training helps to create a pool of highly trained candidates for not only Polk County to look at when we have openings, but other agencies from around the State” says Sheriff Bob Wolfe. Sheriff Wolfe encourages individuals that have a strong interest in volunteering in their community, and have an interest in law enforcement, to submit an application.
Update - August 14th, 2012
Reserve Deputies David Mills and Casey Gibson have completed all of the requirements to become Level I Solo Reserves. This means they have the same duties and responsibilities as a regular full time paid deputy. They will be on patrol in the county, augmenting the current patrol division. This is the first time a reserve deputy has achieved this status in approximately seven years. The process requires a lot of time and energy and applicants need to have a lot of dedication to complete it.
Polk County has nearly as many reserve deputies as it does full time deputies. A reserve deputy receives much of the same training in the Mid Valley Reserve Training (MVRT) Academy, which takes place once a year. Reserve officers and deputies from many surrounding agencies participate in the academy, which consists of over 340 hours of training on nights and weekends over a six month period. In addition, Polk County Reserve Deputies go through a condensed field training process as Level III reserves and they receive all of the same mandated annual training that a full time deputy receives. Reserve deputies wear the same uniform as full time deputies and are indistinguishable from a full time deputy when encountered by the public. They assist full time deputies in all of their regular duties. Reserve deputies also conduct marine patrol, security details, corrections, and many special details such as warrant sweeps and assisting other agencies. Though the reserves may receive pay for some of the duties they perform, most of what they do is largely volunteer work and the reserves receive no compensation.
Deputies Gibson and Mills moved on to Level II, which requires much more time and effort as they completed a Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP) identical to what a full time deputy completes. During that time, they were assigned to Field Training Officers (FTO's) for another 350+ hours of intense training on patrol. Sheriff Bob Wolfe officially promoted Deputies Mills and Gibson to Level I Solo status on August 14, 2012.
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