Reserve Police Officers
Reserve police officers are a special category of police officer authorized by state law to augment full-time, paid police officers. They are volunteers who donate their time to supplement the regular patrol force. They apply for a variety of reasons and come from a broad spectrum of society. Many have successful careers outside of law enforcement and choose to volunteer out of a sense of civic pride while others use their experiences to help in their consideration of a career in law enforcement.
Reserve officers have peace officer powers only when on-duty. At all other times, they have the same rights and responsibilities as any citizen, but not peace officer powers. The duties assigned a reserve officer depend on the level of training they have received. Reserve officer training is presently divided into three levels set by the state and is provided through community colleges. The College of San Mateo provides the first two levels of training in this county, although reserve classes at any college's state-approved program are acceptable. The completion of each level of training increases the responsibilities that a reserve officer may be assigned. The last level of training is equal to a basic police academy for a reserve officer and may allow the department to utilize the reserve officer in any capacity it desires.
The Pacifica Police Department generally uses reserve officers to assist full-time officers in their daily patrol duties as well as with special assignments such as traffic control, transportation, parades, picnics, surveillance and special recreation or school events. All safety equipment and an initial uniform allowance are provided by the department.
The department has authorization for up to 30 reserve officers. Applications are accepted continuously. Applicants go through the same extensive screening process as full-time officers and must then complete a minimum of 200 hours of in-field training. During this training, the reserve officer works the streets of Pacifica with a Field Training Officer.
The Pacifica Police Department is always looking for qualified applicants who desire to volunteer a minimum of 16 hours a month. Many of the department's present full-time officers came from the reserve organization and were sent to an academy for further training by the department when selected.
For more information on the Pacifica Police Reserve Program or to obtain an application, contact the Reserve Coordinator through the main business line.
The Pacifica Police Department also uses the specialized skills and expertise of community members in the capacity of technical volunteers. If you would like to volunteer your services, please call the main business line for more information.