Monday, July 10, 2006

Santa Fe County Reserve Deputy Program

A while back, (sorry it took so long) I was asked to explain a little about the Sheriff's Reserve Deputy Program. What it is and how it works. Reserve Deputies are volunteers who give their time to work as sworn deputies in the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. Many of these are retired or ex law enforcement however the majority are not. I like to describe these as citizens who for what ever reason have always been interested in law enforcement but either already have full time jobs they enjoy or perhaps they earn much more money than law enforcement pays. Or as I stated earlier they may be retired or just want a meaningful way to give back to their community.

Reserve Deputy Sheriffs are utilized to supplement the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office's Sworn personnel. Like Full-time Deputies, Reserve Deputies are professionally trained and duly sworn law enforcement personnel. In most cases, Reserves are assigned to the same duties as Full-time Deputies. Since Reserve Deputies have the same powers of arrest as Full-time Deputies we require a lot of the same hiring, background,physical and psychological standards as Full-time Deputies.

Reserve Deputy Sheriffs enjoy the challenge and excitement offered by law enforcement, as well as the satisfaction of providing a worthwhile community service. Reserve Deputy Sheriffs first complete an extensive in house training program and then work assignments on evenings and/or weekends as their regular jobs permit. Most of the time spent on duty is done around your own schedule however there can be mandatory training which is usually scheduled on nights or weekends to accommodate your other full time jobs. The initial training is done over eight consecutive weekends and this portion is the most demanding and time intensive portion of the service. After this most field training is done around your schedule.

Reserve Deputy Sheriffs are issued a badge, an identification card, uniforms, a duty weapon, handcuffs, baton, and most other necessary equipment. Reserve Deputy Sheriffs have full peace officer powers when on duty or may act as a peace officer according to Sheriff's office Standard Operating Procedures when emergencies arise while off duty.

Reserve Deputy Sheriffs volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per month of their time with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. Reserve Deputy Sheriffs serve at the will of the Sheriff, must obey all Departmental regulations, but do not fall into the framework of the civil service system. Reserve Deputy Sheriffs supplement the regular operations of the Sheriff's Department by working in Uniform (Patrol),or in other capacities as matched by their skills and desires as well as the needs of the Sheriff's Office. So, This is the program in a nutshell if you are interested in becoming a part time deputy, full time hero, contact Corporal Vanessa Pacheco or Sergeant Ken Johnson at 505-986-2400.


10. Make your community safer.
9. Gain respect & admiration from your peers.
8. Earn respect & gratitude from your employer.
7. Meet new, interesting people and arrest them.
6. Show yourself and others you've got what it takes.
5. Give back to the community.
4. Its Fun.
3. Its Challenging.
2. Its Interesting.

1. Finally be able to knock their socks off when
someone asks "And what did YOU do this weekend?"


Dave said...

I live in the Jemez, and I disagree with this practice. I would change my mind if better Standards and Psychological Accreditation were implemented. Sometimes a volunteer should not be given the power to inflict harm without 'lots' more training. I realize that your City Different cadre is different than our County life, and that your situation allows for much more observation of your volunteers, so things may be OK for you. But if you can do this, every little town around wants to augment their Police Force with volunteers that will 'cover the off hours.'

Of course, we also had a Sheriff who was psychotic awhile back, so there is always a chance, even with training that the wrong person will be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Reminds me of some things I know about Albuquerque.)

Anonymous said...

Dave reminds me a little of Cheech and Chong movie scene, "Dave's not here!" response to Chong knocking at the door for Dave...

Guess he doesn't support getting behind your community activities with a positive outlook and encouragement for up and comers to have a glimpse of the-behind-the-door realities that face our first responders daily. And like you said "for responsible citizens to give-back to there community"in a complex and privelged way.

Wayne said...

Hi Folks:

I began my police career at age 16. The New Jersey town (Pop.36,000) I lived in had a "Junior Police". This was not just a plastic "honorary" PR thing. We had formal training in traffic and crowd control. We were assigned to parade routes, Sunday morning church traffic, fire scenes and any other thing we were asked to do. We were issued uniforms, lighted traffic wands and handcuffs. We had no weapons and could not make arrests but could aid regular officers. We did not "ride along" on patrol but assisted mostly with crowds and traffic. The only personal benefit was we could ride on city buses free if in uniform.

After military service which took me to Alaska I attended a meeting in Anchorage for the formation of a city police reserve. I joined that night. We were trained in-house, were armed but were at the direction of a regular officer, or rode patrol as copilot. When a flu epidemic reduced the on-duty officers on patrol to 2, the Reserves were called in to police the city. (pop. 250,000 by then.) We worked in lone units, and the only supervisor not sick was at headquarters, directing via radio. The crisis was averted. A few years later I was commissioned an Alaska State Trooper and served proudly for 23 years.

Volunteers do need screening, training and supervision to be most effective. Police work, even as a volunteer can be very dangerous, but remember that every officer deputy or trooper was an ordinary citizen before wearing the badge.

My reason for the above narrative is: In all those years of law enforcement, and all the volunteers I worked with, there was not one individual that was not suited to police work. They all served proudly, paid or not.