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What is a Reserve Deputy Sheriff?


For those that follow this blog, you know that last year I completed the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy to become a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. I serve, among many other duties, primarily as a member of the Technical Rescue Team, part of the Search and Rescue Unit. (Technical Rescue – think ropes, rappelling and hoisting folks out of tough spots.)

I’ve had friends ask what is a Reserve? I thought the poster image above summed it up nicely and decided to post it so I can refer to it in the future. Reserves are duly sworn law enforcement personnel who have trained to serve in a Law Enforcement capacity but do so as a volunteer. Usually comprised of people who enjoy their current careers but are looking for additional ways to serve their local communities. It also happens to be a lot of fun.

4 Responses to “What is a Reserve Deputy Sheriff?”

  1. Gravatar Icon 1 John Mar 23rd, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Wasn’t Shaquille O’Neal a RSD in AZ? I’m not comparing your dedication to your community service to his, it just popped into my head. Congrats!

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Rebecca Mar 23rd, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    You get absolutely no compensation whatsoever?! I’ve always wondered what a Reserve Officer was. Wow…that IS dedication:)

    So do you have all the same “powers” that a sworn officer has? You can make traffic stops and arrests?

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Terrence Mar 24th, 2009 at 7:28 am

    In the state of California, there are three levels of reserve police officers, all of which are sworn positions (gun, badge)
    Level III – More of an administrative role, cannot be put in a position where they may have to elicit an arrest
    Level II – Can perform all of the same tasks/duties as a full-time police officer, as long as a full-time accompanies them
    Level I – Full police power, the same level of training as full time police officers.

    It is very rewarding and a great way to give back to the community. For more information on how to join, go to

  4. Gravatar Icon 4 dharv Oct 10th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Any advice as someone starts the level III process?

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Michael W. Geoghegan is founder and CEO of GigaVox Media, a production, consulting and technology company focused on audio/video new media.

As a pioneer of podcasting, Michael created some of the first corporate podcasts, including efforts by Disney. Michael is also creator of the 2008 James Beard Award winning "GrapeRadio" and "Reel Reviews: Films Worth Watching". He is editor-in-chief of the Podcast Academy™ book series and co-author of Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting.

Michael speaks frequently on podcasting's impact on new media and its corporate applications and is often quoted by the media including in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and Wired Magazine.