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Reserve deputies serve and protect

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By Ted Mink

For much of its 150-year history, the Sheriff’s Office has relied on volunteer deputies — the reserves — to assist with public safety assignments throughout Jefferson County. These state-certified law enforcement officers are essential to our agency’s mission, and soon we’ll be looking to add a few new faces to their ranks. Do you have what it takes?
 
Who are the reserves?
The reserve unit is made up of men and women who want to help make Jefferson County a safer place for its residents. Some have full-time jobs and participate in reserve activities only on evenings and weekends. Others are retired and have the flexibility to participate in events during the week. Some are former police officers and deputies, but most are not. All undergo thorough training before being sworn in and outfitted with the uniform of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
 
What is the commitment like?
Reserves must attend and pass a law enforcement academy that’s held two evenings a week, and some weekends, over about four months. The academy is similar to the curriculum a full-time recruit would experience. After graduation, reserves are asked to dedicate about 16 hours per month to ongoing training and enforcement activities.
 
What does training entail?
Training for the reserve corps is ongoing. The safety and effectiveness of our volunteer deputies are paramount, and they receive monthly training in officer safety, driving, CPR and first-aid, criminal law, arrest control, community policing and firearms.
 
Enforcement, events and education
Reserves are critical to the Sheriff’s Office. They help deputies with security at large public events like fairs, festivals and concerts. They assist with dignitary protection and traffic control when VIPs come to Jeffco. They work at DUI checkpoints throughout the county, and aid with evacuations during wildfires. They may be called upon on occasions that are especially busy on patrol, like the Fourth of July, or to aid with crime scene security following a major crime.
 
Do you have what it takes?
The Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for the next reserve academy, tentatively scheduled for early 2011. Do you have what it takes to be a reserve deputy? To apply, fill out the online volunteer application.
If you have questions, contact our recruiting office at 303-271-5332.
To apply for a reserve deputy position, you must meet these minimum qualifications:
• Be 21 years of age.
• Have no felony convictions.
• Pass a background check.
• Be a high school graduate.
• Submit to medical and psychological tests.
• Possess a valid Colorado driver’s license.
• Possess qualities of honesty, maturity, self-discipline and sound judgment.
• Able to perform essential job functions.

Explorer program
Teens and young adults with an avid interest in law enforcement who are too young for the reserve unit may be interested in the Explorer Post. The Explorer Post is an educational program for high school students ages 14 and up. Explorers meet twice a month to learn skills in law enforcement activities like traffic control, arrest control and crime scene investigation. They use their skills to compete against other metro area Explorer groups in law-enforcement competitions.
The Explorer group is occasionally asked to assist patrol deputies at community events, under the close supervision of adult Explorer Post advisers. The program is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and is a great outlet for young people with an interest in law enforcement. For more information, visit our website or call 303-271-5332.

Ted Mink is the Jefferson County sheriff.