Wanna Be’s Or Real Cops?

Jaden Michael over at ‘So You Wanna Be A Cop’ has an excellent article on Reserve officers.  The reserve division at our sheriff’s department includes many very experienced guys that work everything from detention (jail) to court security to cold case investigations.  They are real LEO’s with full powers of arrest.  No wanna be’s in our SO (Sheriff’s Office).  Some of our reserves are former chiefs of police, captains, investigators, detectives, etc who retired but love LE and continue to give back to their communities with their volunteer service.  And at our SO none of the reserves are paid.  Nothing, nada, zip.  They serve out of a personal sense of duty and love of their fellow man.  Each department is different, but I feel very honored and privileged to work with these guys at our SO.  And by the way, our reserves are required by state law to have the exact same training as full timers and are required to take monthly tests in Constitutional law, race relations, sexual harassment, working with folks with mental issues, etc, etc, etc, just in case you thought they weren’t qualified.




6 comments on “Wanna Be’s Or Real Cops?

  1. Notwende says:

    Is it still possible nowadays for a non-LEO becoming deputized?
    If so – it would be just for a very short term, right? (i.e. until real backup arrives or the crisis that made someone a Deputy is over)
    Or is “Deputy” a rank within the career ladder of the Sheriff’s office?

    • State law would govern this. In my state the only way to have full powers of arrest is to complete training in a state certified academy and then be hired by a city, county, state, or federal law enforcement agency, then maintain your LE credentials through mandatory continued training and study. Full powers of arrest means that you can detain a person if you have ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they are involved in criminal activity, and that you can arrest a subject if you have ‘probable cause’ to believe they have committed a crime. As a commissioned peace officer you are able to carry a firearm nationwide, and ignore the signs posted on the doors of businesses that say ‘No Weapons.’

      In some small towns the ‘city’ can appoint a city marshal to keep the peace but their powers are very limited. The marshal can appoint deputies to help them, but with little more power than the average citizen. The state usually does not consider city marshals or their deputies to be true LEO’s. They can only make an arrest if they personally witness the commission of a crime: No probable cause or reasonable suspicion allowed.

      In the case of an emergency, a citizen may assist an LEO without being ‘deputized’ but it would be quite rare for an LEO to request help from a citizen due to the legal liability issues involved. I think that in some states a sheriff can still ‘deputize’ citizens to form a posse to assist in some LE functions. In this case when the posse is disbanded all citizen authority ceases.

      As to the rank of Deputy, yes, it is the basic rank within the organization of a sheriff’s office. I am a deputy and also hold the rank of Sargent in our department, meaning that I have additional administrative and supervisory duties over the deputies assigned to me in my section of the department. I report to a Lieutenant, and above him in the chain of command we have the ranks of Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel (in our department this is the Under-Sheriff) and the top LEO in the county is the Sheriff. Other departments have similar rank structures with variations depending on the organization.

      As to a citizen assisting an LEO, if one of us is in serious trouble we appreciate the assistance. Twice in recent months LEO’s lives have been saved by a citizen with a gun intervening and shooting a criminal that was attempting to kill an officer. This is unusual, but does happen. Normally, we want concerned citizens to leave us alone and let us do our jobs with no interference, but we welcome responsible citizens coming to our aid in a time of real need.

      Thank you for your interest and posing such a great question. I hope my answer is helpful, and please always feel free to ask about law enforcement.
      The Deputy

  2. Shilah says:

    Your answer was very helpful, sir. Thank you.
    for all you do.

  3. Thanks for mentioning my post! I appreciate the feedback. You have a great point about many reserves being former full time officers and deputies. Several of our guys who have left for “greener pastures” have stayed on as reserves. Sometimes the job gets in your blood and can be hard to give up!

    • Yep, you can’t find a better bunch of people to work with. LE gets in your blood for sure. BTW, I tried to see if there was a ‘share’ or ‘reblog’ button to repost your article and didn’t see one. I apologize for not sharing a link to your site. Will do so in the future. Thanks for your great blog.

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