If interested, you can become a Reserve Police Officer and help regular full time Police officers keep the city streets safe.
This isn't like any other run-of-the-mill volunteering position. It's exciting, unique and a lot of responsibility.
Most Police Departments have a reserve program and often look for qualified, mature people who are looking to give back to the community and help it's citizens feel safe.
Although it's a volunteer program, you will still have an application process to go through and be selected to participate.
Even though you will be a Reserve Police Officer, you will be representing the Department that you are volunteering for, and they have to be sure that you will carry yourself in a mature and reliable manner.
The video below provides some information on being a reserve. It's done by the LAPD but a lot of what they talk about applies
to any volunteer position with any other Department.
One thing that seems a bit different with LAPD is that they allow reserves to take part in specialty units. I'm not sure if many other departments allow that. Regardless, it's an interesting video. If anyone has info on any other departments that do this, please get in touch with me and let me know...
Remember, the public will see you wearing the uniform, and most of them won't differentiate you from the regular officer. All they will see is a cop in uniform. That's all.
Some Departments may have uniforms that will say "reserve" on a shoulder flash or epaulette, or some other distinguishing feature, but most people won't take notice of that. They will just see a cop in uniform.
You'll get training from the Department in self defense, handling firearms, law, procedure etc etc.
You could be asked to participate in any number of activities, but When you go out on the road, you'll probably be paired up with a regular member.
You'll be armed and taking part in the same incidents as everyone else.
I can guarantee that you will be expected to volunteer your time a certain minimum number of hours per month.
Each department will be different, but they'll all want to be sure that the reserves that they train are going to put their skills to use, so don't expect to show up just a "couple times a year."
For those who are truly interested, it can be an exciting and fulfilling experience.
Remember one thing though. If you become a reserve officer, you will be in the eye not only of the public, but also the sworn officers. Make sure that you do what is required of you. You can't just sit back, do absolutely nothing and just say, "well, I'm a reserve police officer."
If you intend to use this as a stepping stone to get into the regular force, you'll want to make a good impression. Sure, take direction from the sworn in officer that you are working with, but get involved when and if there is a task that is to be done.
Basically, don't be lazy but don't be overzealous either. Be even keel, do what needs to be done and work with the officers that you are with.
And have fun. This really is a unique volunteering experience.