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.
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 2019 the Reserve Unit volunteered over 22,500 hours of time to the Orange County Sheriff's Office and to the citizens of Orange County. This included 9,000 hours working in road patrol functions and over 1,600 hours handling special details. In addition, the unit made 270 Arrests, issued 1,440 Traffic Citations and answered 6,515 calls for service. By utilizing an hourly rate of $30.00 an hour, the units’ volunteer hours resulted in a savings of $675,390 to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.