The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department has restructured, reorganized and rejuvenated the Reserve Deputy Program.
After being in existence for more than 20 years, the Reserve Deputy Sheriff program was dwindling. At Sheriff John D’Agostini’s direction the program has more than doubled in size and continues to grow.
Reserve deputies are non-paid employees of the Sheriff’s Department managed by a sheriff’s patrol lieutenant, supervised by a sheriff’s sergeant and coordinated by a deputy sheriff. The full-time personnel are responsible for: the preparation of reserve training, organizing events (such as meetings and special details), scheduling the reserve deputies volunteer hours, ensuring the reserve deputies have the proper duty gear, familiarizing new reserves with the Sheriff’s Department facilities and the county’s demographics, and ensuring that all reserve employees meet and maintain the requirements of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
Currently the sheriff’s reserve program is comprised of eight volunteer reserve deputy sheriffs and is still growing. Three reserves have recently been hired and there is currently a recruitment under way.
Of the eight current reserve deputies, two volunteer their hours outside of patrol services by working with the sheriff’s chaplaincy and the sheriff’s range staff. They are both well-respected and long-time members of the Sheriff’s Department. Both of these individuals have volunteered thousands of hours over the years.
Six reserve deputies currently volunteer their time in uniformed patrol operations. Reserve deputies assigned to patrol assist full-time deputies in the field, riding in a patrol vehicle with a deputy as another set of eyes, ears and hands, enhancing productivity and safety. While doing this, reserve deputies gain valuable on the job training, that can only be attained through experience gained within our communities.
Reserve deputies may perform a number of general and specialized law enforcement assignments, including but not limited to uniformed patrol, investigations, transportation, courts, marine/boat patrol, search and rescue, and community events. They work a minimum of 16 hours per month and since January 2012 five reserve deputies have volunteered more than 670 hours.
“I can’t praise our volunteers enough,” Sheriff D’Agostini said. “Our reserve deputies are dedicated to public service, and I know they will help reduce crime and improve public safety.”
Many of our reserve deputies have put themselves through a basic police academy and are in search of full-time employment in law enforcement. The reserve program is a way to get first-hand experience and determine if a career in law enforcement is right for them. When the Sheriff’s Department has vacant paid deputy sheriff positions the program offers the Sheriff’s Office a pool of potential candidates with experience and knowledge gained with our agency.
Other reserve deputies intend on keeping their current civilian jobs and find it rewarding and challenging to serve our communities. Along with reserve deputies there are more than 600 Sheriff’s Department volunteers donating their time to protect and serve our communities. There are many volunteer organizations including Search and Rescue, Community Emergency Response Team, Sheriff’s Team of Active Retirees, Air Squadron, Explorers, and Reserve Deputy.