Reserve Deputy

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To Apply for Reserve Deputy:  Apply Here!

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Reserve Forces Detail is encompassed by community members who volunteer their time and energy to fulfill many of the roles which are traditionally handled by full-time, Deputy Sheriffs. Our Reserve Deputy Sheriffs undergo the same hiring standards as full-time Deputies and work alongside them in support of every aspect of the Department operations.

Our reserves perform a multitude of job assignment throughout the county, in addition to regular patrol functions. Our search-and-rescue teams conduct over 600 lifesaving missions each year. Our reserve Posse members perform mall patrols during holidays and appear in a number of parades. We have reserves assigned to Aero Bureau, off-road motorcycle enforcement detail, Special Enforcement Bureau  Dive Team and Air Rescue 5, K-9, along with various detective functions throughout the Department. The Reserve Forces Details has over 600 active Reserve Deputy Sheriffs, and is one of the largest law enforcement reserve units in the nation. Accredited by the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Reserve program stands as a model to other agencies in the United States as a successful partnership with our community.

We continue to seek qualified community members who meet the high standards necessary to become a member of our Reserve program. Our Department also invites currently qualified Reserves for lateral entry into the program.

The Rewards of Becoming a Reserve Deputy Sheriff

Our Reserve Deputies are not content to play a passive role in life. Instead, they continue to devote their time and talents to their communities. Their passion is to serve a purpose, for the betterment of their community. They truly exemplify “service and sacrifice before self.”

As effective spokespersons in their neighborhoods for the support of law enforcement, their presence in the Department provides full-time officers with more insight into all segments of the County’s population. Because of our high standards, the process to be selected, and the caliber of our training, our Reserve Deputy Sheriffs have gained a great amount of respect by the regular members of the Department. Several of our full-time Deputies have requested to be assigned with particular Reserves, and have created positive working relationships in the common goal of service to their community. Many of our Reserves have been recognized with the Department’s highest honors, including the Medal of Valor, Exemplary Service, and Distinguished Service awards. How to Become a Reserve Deputy Sheriff

The best way to start the process of becoming a Reserve Deputy is to attend an orientation seminar. For more information, contact (323) 526-5100, or visit:

Frequently Asked Questions

We try to help you in advance with any questions you might have about The Reserve Program and provide the answers here.

1. Is there an upper age limit to join the Reserve Academy?

There is no upper age limit, but you need to be in good physical condition, especially for the Level II and Level I academies.

2. How do I know if I am overweight?

Although there are no minimum or maximum height requirements, the height-weight relationship of each applicant must either (1) fall within the ranges in the following table, or (2) if the applicant’s height is not included on the table, be found to be acceptable after individual evaluation. Height measurements are made without shoes. Weight measurements are made without shoes and coat. Applicants whose height falls between any of the measurements shown on the table must meet the weight requirements of the lower height. Individuals who do not meet the standard shall have their body fat measured. Female candidates whose body fat is 33% or less may qualify. Male candidates whose body fat is 22% or less may qualify.

3. What do I do if I want to be in a specialized unit like detectives, canine detail, or helicopters?

You need to graduate from at least the Level II academy, be assigned to a patrol station, and get patrol qualified. Once you’re patrol qualified you can contact the specialized units you might be interested in about a possible transfer.

4. I was a reserve in another county, do I need to go through the Sheriff’s academy?

If you still hold an active California POST reserve certificate you will need to go through some processing and a background update – but in most cases this is a relatively brief, simple procedure. 

5. I was a reserve in another state, do I need to go through the Sheriff’s academy?

Out of state applicants will be considered individually based on the length of training, time in the field and other factors. However, you must still meet the California POST requirements, and will probably need a Basic Course Waiver. More information is available at the California POST website.

6. Is a prior drug use a disqualifier?

Each application is individually judged and based on a number of factors. Some past drug use may not necessarily be automatically disqualifying. However, failure to disclose past drug usage is a disqualifier.

7. Can I pick the station where I want to work?


8. After I start at one station, can I transfer to another?

Yes, you can request the change; requests are approved in most cases.

9. Once I go to patrol, how many hours do I have to put in every month?

20 hours per month minimum is normally required of all reserves, wherever you are assigned in the department.

10. If I’m thinking of a career in law enforcement, should I become a reserve first?

Some people prefer to hold on to their present jobs and go through the Reserve Academy to see how much they’re going to enjoy law enforcement; whether they want to do it on a part-time basis or whether they want to make a career out of it. But for those who already know they would like to be full-time peace officers, applying directly to the regular academy is the best way to go.

11. How old do I have to be?

20 years old at the time you are accepted.

12. Do I have to be a high school graduate?

You must be a high school graduate or have a G. E. D.

13. Can a resident alien apply?

You must be an American citizen, by birth or naturalized.

14. If I have a felony arrest but no conviction, can I be a Reserve Deputy Sheriff?

The totality of the circumstances will be evaluated by your background investigator. You should explain the situation fully in your application; use extra pages if necessary.

15. What does a former Reserve Officer have to do to become a Reserve again?

Individuals who were previously Level I or II reserve officers may accept an appointment at the same or lower level, without meeting current training standards, if their break in service is less than three years.  If the individual has more than a three year break in service, he or she must meet current training standards. Former Level III reserve officers must meet current entry-level training requirements regardless of the length of the break in service.

16. What is the difference between designated and non-designated Level I Reserve Officer?

The authority of a “designated” Level I reserve includes the full powers and duties of a peace officer as provided by a Penal Code section 830.1.  A Level I reserve is “designated” by authority of a city ordinance or a county Resolution.  [Penal Code section 830. 6(a)(2)] The authority of a “non-designated” Level I reserve shall extend only for the duration of the  assignment to specific police functions. [Penal Code section 830. 6(a)(1)]




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