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Law enforcement looking for backup

July 12, 2012

Chief Chris Carter

Local authorities are looking for residents who are interested in serving their community by donning a badge and working part-time enforcing local and state laws.
According to Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter, a number of law enforcement agencies in Inyo and Mono counties are looking for reserve peace officers to work side-by-side with full-time officers in helping to police the streets.
“They wear the same uniform, have peace officer powers, including powers of arrest, and are armed in the performance of their duties,” Carter said of reserve officers. “Some agencies pay their reserve officers an hourly wage for their service.”
Cerro Coso Community College is currently accepting registration for the first in a series of Reserve Peace Officer Academy classes it is offering at the Bishop Campus next month.
Carter said the classes include the same training full-time police officers receive at police academies, but on a tiered schedule that allows working adults to participate.
The goal is to offer three classes. Upon completion of the first tier, graduates will be able to begin work as a reserve officer with limited duties.
Those who complete all three tiers will receive an academy equivalent certificate, which means they will be eligible to serve as full-time police officers.
The first class, Reserve Level III, is scheduled to begin Aug. 28 and run through Nov. 15 from 6-10 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.
“The class involves pretty much the same thing as the police academy, but without the organized physical training,” Carter said. “There is a physical agility test that each department administers before hiring any officer.”
After completion of Reserve Level III training, graduates will be qualified to apply for positions with some local agencies.
“Every agency in the valley is always in the market for reserve officers,” Carter said.
Before the classes begin, the Bishop Police Department will hold a public meeting with representatives from Cerro Coso and local law enforcement agencies to answer residents’ questions and discuss the application process required to become a reserve peace officer.
That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 19 in the Bishop City Council Chambers on West Line Street.
Carter said Eastern Sierra law enforcement agencies have seen a resurgence in interest from residents hoping to become part-time reserve officers. That interest is also a benefit to the public agencies, which have been experiencing declining budgets in recent years.
“We’re finding that we rely on these reserve officer positions more and more as we lose full-time positions,” Carter said, adding that, if someone who has had an interest in law enforcement begins the Level III training, and sticks with the program, they will be eligible to apply for full-time positions, as long as they meet the physical fitness standards.
Those persons interested may contact the following for more information: Steve Rogers, public safety director, Cerro Coso College, (760) 384-6304; or Chief Chris Carter, Bishop Police Department, (760) 873-5866.

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