Reserve deputies

Volunteer reserve deputies are trained to perform certain duties to assist the sheriff’s staff.  They give the office more manpower and can allow paid staff to concentrate on more specialized tasks.

Sheriff Eric Hess said that the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has three levels for auxiliary police officers: level one, which is a certified police officer meeting all the requirements of paid officers; level two, which is an officer with limited duties equivalent to a bailiff; and level three, which is an unarmed officer who could help with duties such as directing traffic.  Those who complete this reserve deputy program will emerge as level two officers, Hess said, after they complete a supplemental week’s course that by law must be taught by the DCJS.

The in-depth program holds classes two evenings a week and two full Saturdays a month through Aug. 1, and teaches the “exact same lesson plans that were taught at the academy,” Hess said.  All the instructors come from the Fluvanna sheriff’s office and are DCJS-certified.

Topics covered in the reserve deputy program include Virginia law, first aid and CPR, patrol techniques, firearms training, traffic training, use of force, defensive tactics, use of baton and chemical sprays, arrest procedures, cultural diversity, basic investigation skills, and driving.

“The point of having the reserve deputy program is two-fold,” Hess said.  “One is for people to help us.  The other is for those who may not necessarily want a career in law enforcement but want to help, such as retired folks, or for younger people who may want to start a career in law enforcement.”

In fact, the sheriff’s office has two part-time bailiff slots open that graduates from this course could fill, said Hess, who noted that he would be pleased to see new employees rise from the ranks of the reserve deputy program.

“Tonight each candidate embarks on an exciting journey toward a career in law enforcement,” Hess told those who attended Tuesday’s program, according to a press release.  “If you persevere and complete your training, you will serve our community as a sworn law enforcement deputy providing our office with the expertise and manpower needed to augment our full-time staff.”

Reserve deputy candidates must attend all in-service training, volunteer at least 10 hours per month, and purchase their own uniforms and equipment, said Captain Thomas Brennan.

“Volunteers are our heroes because through your commitment and support we can get the job done,” Captain Von Hill told the group.  “Volunteering time and talent speaks volumes of your character and we’re honored to have you as part of our team.”


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