118 – Reserve Deputy Program

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I. Purpose

This policy establishes and describes the duties and functions of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Reserve Command. This is a volunteer program contingent of certified, trained personnel with the stated goal of providing supplemental support to the full-time, paid HCSO staff.

A. The Sheriff has established a reserve law enforcement command that will hereafter be known as the HCSO Reserve Command.

B. The HCSO Reserve Command will be composed of an all-volunteer force.

C. The HCSO Reserve Command members must volunteer their time and services to the Sheriff without financial compensation.

D. Reserve deputies serve at the discretion of the Sheriff.  The Sheriff will determine the fitness of all persons to serve in the Reserve Command and maintains the right and authority to appoint and revoke such appointments.  These decisions are final.  A reserve deputy has no right of appeal from appointment and revocation decisions.  

E. All members of the HCSO Reserve Command shall be governed by the HCSO written policies and directives.

F. The HCSO shall utilize reserve deputies to supplement full-time personnel and provide additional assistance for special events and emergencies.

II. Policy

A. All reserve deputies performing duties for the HCSO, regardless of assignment or function, shall comply with all applicable State of Texas laws, HCSO policies, procedures, and directives.

B. Reserve deputies shall support all areas of the HCSO including, but not limited to: Criminal Justice Command, Community Services Division, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Homeland Security Bureau, Justice Housing Bureau, HR, Office of Inspector General / Internal Affairs Division (OIG / IAD), Patrol Bureau, Marine Division, Mounted Patrol, and other areas as deemed necessary by the Sheriff.

C. Reserve deputies are subject to call-out for critical situations including: man-made or natural disasters, search and rescue missions, and any circumstances deemed necessary by the Sheriff.

D. Approved Duties:

1. All reserve deputies shall be assigned to a bureau within the HCSO. The scope of duties of a reserve deputy shall be in accordance with the requirements of the assignment and shall be comparable to the duties required of a regular, full-time deputy.

2. The duties of reserve deputies on call-out, special events, and any other situation deemed necessary by the Sheriff shall be governed by HCSO procedures, policies, and directives.

E. Organization Staff:

1. Reserve Command personnel will maintain the same rank structure designated for regular, full-time HCSO personnel.

2. A reserve deputy on duty is subject to direct supervision of his or her immediate supervisor in the division or bureau assigned.

F. Selection Criteria for Reserve Deputy Sheriff:

1. Applicants shall submit a completed HCSO application to the Reserve Command.

2. All applicants shall be subject to all qualifications for employment required by the HCSO.

3. All criteria used to select reserve deputies shall be the same as used to select full-time, regular deputies.

4. A reserve deputy must complete the same required training as mandated by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) as prescribed for full-time, regular deputies.

5. If a TCOLE license was obtained from a source other than the HCSO, the Sheriff shall reserve the right to require that person to attend the HCSO Academy before commissioning that person to the Reserve Command.

6. At any time the deputy’s commission is revoked or suspended, the HCSO shall notify TCOLE in writing to inform the Commission of the change of status.

G. Reserve Command Training:

1. Each reserve deputy shall receive mandated in-service training hours required of all full-time, regular sworn deputies consistent with TCOLE and HCSO policies. This training also includes basic, intermediate, and advanced training programs.

2. No reserve deputy shall be commissioned, authorized to carry a weapon, or make arrests prior to receiving the required training, demonstrating weapons proficiency, and successfully passing the TCOLE licensing examination.

3. Training will be conducted at the HCSO Training Academy or as directed by the Sheriff or his or her designee.

4. The training scheduled may vary to accommodate the reserve or HCSO needs.

5. All training shall be consistent with TCOLE rules and regulations. Any training exceeding TCOLE standards shall be prescribed by the HCSO. All reserve training shall meet the same curriculum standard as provided to regular, full-time deputies.

6. Reserve deputies shall demonstrate the skills required and proficiency with all weapons used in accordance with HCSO policy.

H. Uniforms and Equipment:

1. All reserve deputies shall be issued standard uniform attire as required by the HCSO.

2. All reserve deputies shall comply with the dress code and county property policies in the appropriation, use, and care of HCSO uniforms, property, and equipment.

3. The HCSO shall provide the same public liability protection as all other full-time, regular deputies.

I. General:

1. Upon acceptance in the Reserve Command, personnel will be sworn in by taking an oath of office administered by the Sheriff or his or her duly authorized representative.

2. The reserve deputy shall be subject to all policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and directives of the HCSO except that reserve deputies shall not be subject to the rules or provisions of the Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission.  The Sheriff or his designee has the discretion to discipline a reserve deputy for any violation of HCSO policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and directives.  Disciplinary decisions are final.  A reserve deputy has no right of appeal from any disciplinary decision.  

J. Transfer to Regular Deputy Status:

A HCSO reserve deputy may apply for transfer to full-time regular deputy status. He or she must be able to meet the following requirements:

1. Must have performed no less than 1,040 hours as a law enforcement first responder,

2. Must pass a background investigation conducted by the HCSO Recruiting and Backgrounds Section and be submitted for review to the Administrative Review Board (ARB),

3. Must successfully pass the following or have previously passed:

a. The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) and

b. The Peace Officer Selection Test (POST).


This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009 May 21, 2010 February 11, 2021

June 18, 2009 July 20, 2016 

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