The Oxnard Police Department Reserve Officer Unit is a program designed to give members of the community a chance to give something back by volunteering their time as police officers. Our members are here for a variety of reasons. Some just want to give something back to their community. Some are looking to make a difference. Others are “testing the waters” of a law enforcement career while still maintaining their normal lives and professions, and others are using it as a stepping stone to full time employment as an Oxnard Police Officer. A recent straw poll showed that approximately 60% of Oxnard Police Officers started their careers as Reserve Officers.
Completion (or current enrollment) of a POST certified Reserve Officer Academy is required. The Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County Community College District cosponsor the Ventura County Police and Sheriff’s Reserve Academy at Camarillo airport. Reserve Officers are required to volunteer twenty hours of service a month. They are also required to attend regular monthly meetings. On going training is required especially in areas of perishable skills.
The City of Oxnard is seeking qualified candidates who have completed a POST certified reserve course within the last 24 months and wish to be part of an excellent and progressive community-oriented Police Department. Minority and female candidates are encouraged to apply. For more information go HERE.
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The Oxnard Police Department Reserve Unit was established to supplement and assist regular sworn police officers in their duties. This Unit provides professional, sworn volunteer Reserve Officers who can augment regular staffing levels for various activities and events.
Essential Functions and Responsibilities
Auxiliary staffing for large special events which require a considerable amount of department resources. Events such as the California Strawberry Festival, the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, Christmas and Fiestas Patrias Parades, Fourth of July, etc. rely on Reserve Officers to meet staffing and operational needs. The Unit also provides assistance with DUI checkpoints, high school sporting events, patrol staffing, City Council security, festivals, traffic control, and other assignments when Reserve Officer availability permits.
Resources Allocated and Budget
Allocated Staffing: Commander-1, Sergeant-1, Assistant Reserve Coordinators-10 (actual-6) as collateral assignments, Reserve Officers-25 (actual-8)
Allocated Budget: None. The Reserve Unit operates within existing departmental budgets for training and equipment. The Unit receives limited funding from events worked in conjunction with the Oxnard Police Explorer Post 9286.
The Reserve Unit began the year with nine Reserve Officers and seven Assistant Reserve Coordinators (ARC). Two Reserve Officers left the Unit because they were recruited to become full-time officers with the department. One full-time officer resigned and became a Reserve Officer so he could assist with his family’s business. One ARC resigned from the department to pursue a different career. Six ARCs were retained to adequately staff for the current needs of the Unit. Four ARC positions were left vacant and will be filled as needs dictate. Reserve Officers recorded a total of 2,103 volunteer hours during 2016. These hours included activities and details such as: City Council security, DUI checkpoints, festivals, high school sporting events, parades, patrol, professional development opportunities, special events, department training and other activities. Based on 2016 cost recovery rates (non-overtime), the approximate savings realized by the department for Reserve Unit activity was approximately $153,771.
The Reserve Unit faced several challenges in 2016. Due to departmental budgetary constraints, Reserve Officers typically received equipment that was substandard or failed to get required equipment issued at all. For example, some Reserve Officers were in need of new Tasers because of device failures and the Unit was not issued BWCs as part of the department’s implementation. The closure of the Reserve Academy and the increased POST training requirements for Reserve Officers has diminished local recruiting opportunities. Administrators from Ventura College and the Ventura Sheriff’s Department were working toward launching a Basic Academy in the Modular Format in early 2017. The much needed academy would have enabled the local recruitment and training of potential Reserve Officer candidates but the concept was cancelled in late 2016 because of logistics problems. The only current recruitment and training alternatives are in Santa Carita or Santa Maria.
Several accomplishments were realized and many necessary improvements were made regarding the Reserve Unit in 2016: a quarterly training plan was further developed and implemented with relevant and meaningful subject matter, the participation rate and morale of Reserve Officers and ARCs continues to remain high compared to previous years, every member of the Unit was brought into POST compliance with the Continuous Professional Training (CPT) requirement for the first time in many years, the Department Policy for Reserve Officers was updated and aligned with POST standards, several Reserve Officers and ARCs attended the ARPOC training in San Diego, the Reserve Unit participated in the Kiwanis Club Employee Recognition Luncheon for the first time.
Priorities, Goals and Objectives for 2017
- Increase Unit staffing to 15+ Reserve Officers
- Continue to improve inter-departmental communication (i.e. with Professional Standards & Training Office for recruitment, hiring and training issues)
- Finalize a Reserve Unit Manual and distribute
- Work toward having a POST Modular Academy being offered in Ventura County
- Provide icop access for members of the Reserve Unit
- Facilitate ARPOC attendance for all members of the Reserve Unit
- Network with other agencies to recruit academy complete individuals
- Provide training related to: Bike Patrol, EVOC, First Aid/CPR, CIT, Gang Injunction