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Reserve Unit

Reserve Unit Chief Deputy Ross Wolf

Chief Deputy Ross Wolf - Reserve Unit Commander
Special Operations Division/Specialized Patrol Section
2500 W. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32804 


Most Orange County citizens do not realize that volunteer police are an active part of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Reserve deputies are fully sworn law enforcement officers, with either Florida Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) or Florida Auxiliary Law Enforcement certifications, who volunteer their time and expertise to the Sheriff's Office. These reserves come from all walks of life, occupations, and educational backgrounds.  OCSO reserves include school teachers and school administrators, nonprofit organization managers, firefighters and fire department administrators, nurses, lawyers, college professors, facilities managers, IT professionals, media specialists, and business owners.  

Reserve deputies can work independently or with a partner, depending on their certification, designation, experience, and training.  In addition to the occupations listed above, many of the deputies who serve within the Reserve Unit are retired law enforcement officers who bring years of real-world experience to the unit, and want to continue “making a difference” in Orange County.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has a very active and productive reserve deputy program, at times, running an entire patrol squad, providing deputies much needed assistance. Even though they are not paid in their role, Florida Statute clearly defines these volunteers as law enforcement officers with sworn policing power. A Reserve Deputy has the same “police power” as a full-time Orange County Deputy Sheriff, except they volunteer their services. Their uniforms are identical to an Orange County Deputy Sheriff and all necessary uniforms and equipment are provided. The Sheriff's Office also provides workers compensation insurance for Reserve Deputies acting in an official capacity. 

“The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Unit is one of the most professional, well-trained volunteer policing units in the country.  We are proud to call central Florida home, and to provide law enforcement services to the citizens and visitors of Orange County.  Our unit has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) with the ‘Leadership in Volunteer Policing Award’ and we are active in volunteer policing organizations on an international level.  Although the training required is extensive, and this role is not for everyone, if you would like information on the steps to take to begin serving this community as a volunteer reserve, please visit the Orange County Sheriff's Office Career Pages and look for the 'Deputy Sheriff-Reserve' job summary, minimum requirements, and the steps to apply.” – Ross Wolf, Reserve Chief Deputy


If you would like to learn more about the reserve unit or to learn how you can participate in a ride-along with a member of the reserve unit, please contact the Special Operations Division at 407-254-7432 to be connected. 

Meet the Reserves

Learn more about the Reserve Unit

Qualifications and Responsibilities

Sheriff John Mina presents a member of the reserve unit with the Medal of Valor during a recent reserve unit award ceremony

Applicants who are selected for processing as a Reserve Deputy are required to go through the same stringent background checks and training as a full-time deputy sheriff.  The extensive background process assures that the agency's volunteer deputies are of good moral character and reputation.  Prospective reserve candidates also undergo medical, psychological, and polygraph examinations. Once selected candidates must complete academy training.

Because it is understood that a volunteer may not be able to complete all necessary training in the same amount of time as a full-time deputy, reserve deputies are given an extension on their mandatory field training program which must be completed within two years from the date they are sworn in as a deputy sheriff.  This extensive training and evaluation program is the same one that the agency requires its full-time deputies complete.  It is carefully designed to ensure that all of the agency's sworn personnel have a thorough understanding of local ordinances, agency policy, and law enforcement procedures.

In addition to academy training and required field training, reserve deputies must attend the same annual agency retraining and state certification retraining that is required of all deputies with the sheriff’s office. They are also required to attend monthly Reserve Unit training meetings and are required to undergo regular firearms proficiency training. 

Reserve Deputies assist the community with numerous events throughout the year.Department policy mandates that reserve deputies perform a minimum of 16 hours of duty assignments each month, 12 of which must be in patrol.  However, most OCSO reserve deputies volunteer much more than this minimum requirement.  Reserve deputies are also subject to call outs for special assignments and emergencies, and participate in community events.

During 2022 the Reserve Unit volunteered over 18,850 hours of time to the Orange County Sheriff's Office and to the citizens of Orange County. This included 7,620 hours working in road patrol functions and over 1,600 hours handling special details. In addition, the unit made over 200 Arrests, issued 830 Traffic Citations and answered over 4,600 calls for service. By utilizing an hourly rate of $30.00 an hour, the units’ volunteer hours resulted in a savings of $565,530 to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.