Reserve Deputy

The view of headquarters from the roof of the Main Jail complex.

The Reserve Deputy Program is commissioned and regulated by California P.O.S.T.  This program is designed to allow members of the community to dedicate a portion of their time to community service by working as part-time employees or volunteers within the Sheriff's Office.  Reserve Deputies will work independently or alongside full-time regular deputies to provide law enforcement services for the county.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has one of the largest Reserve Units in the County.  The Reserve Unit is made up from members of the community who volunteer their time to supplement Sheriff’s Office services.  The majority of our current Reserves are retired peace officers, successful business owners, and medical doctors.  The men and women of the Reserve Unit decided to join the Sheriff’s Office because they wanted to give back to the community.  All of them enjoy being peace officers while keeping their day to day jobs.  Reserve Deputies perform a number of general and specialized law enforcement assignments such as uniformed patrol, investigations, search and rescue, Sheriff's Emergency Response Team (SERT), Crowd Control Unit, Hostage Negotiation Team, and many more.  Reserve Deputies are required by California P.O.S.T. to meet the same selection standards as full-time regular deputies.  There are three levels of Reserve Deputy status.


Level I

Level I Reserve Deputies may work alone and perform the same duties as full-time regular deputies.  Level I Reserve Deputies are defined by PC 832.6(a)(1).​

Level I Reserve Deputies are California P.O.S.T. Basic certified and have completed a field training program.  Level I Reserve Deputies work alone without immediate supervision.  Level I Reserve Deputies do not take the place of a full-time regular deputy and are therefore not assigned a patrol area while working in a patrol capacity.  Level I Reserve Deputies function as extra or additional units while working in a patrol capacity.

Level II

Level II Reserve Deputies may perform general law enforcement assignments while under the immediate supervision of a full-time regular deputy who has completed the P.O.S.T. Basic Certificate.  Level II Reserve Deputies may also work assignments authorized for Level III Reserve Deputies without immediate supervision.  Level II Reserve Deputies are defined by PC832.6(a)(2).

Level II Reserve Deputies are those who have not completed a field training program but have successfully completed the entire Reserve Peace Officer Program as described by California P.O.S.T.  Level II Reserve Deputies are also those who may not have completed the Level I module in the P.O.S.T. Basic Modular Academy.  Level II Reserve Deputies require some level of supervision when working; therefore, they do not work solo enforcement assignments while unsupervised.  Level II Reserve Deputies perform all enforcement activities as required while under supervision.

Level III

Level III Reserve Deputies may perform specified limited support duties and other duties that are not likely to result in physical arrests, while supervised by a full-time regular deputy.  Additionally, Level III Reserve Deputies may transport prisoners without immediate supervision.  Level III Reserve Deputies are defined by  PC 832.6(a)(3).

Level III Reserve Deputies are those who have not completed a field training program and can only work in support functions.  Typically, Level III Reserve Deputies work as tactical medics, S.E.R.T. doctors, or other support positions where enforcement activity is not likely and supervision is abundant.  Level III Reserve Deputies require supervision when working support assignments and therefore they do not work in patrol or enforcement assignments.

Minimum Requirements

  • Successful completion of the Level I, Level II, or Level III California P.O.S.T. Reserve Peace Officer Program .
  • ​21 years of age at the time of appointment.
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.
  • High school graduate or pass a high school equivalency test.
  • Never been convicted of a felony.
  • California driver's license with a satisfactory driving record.
  • Pass a complete background investigation including fingerprints and a search of local, state, and national files for a criminal history.
  • Pass a psychological evaluation and pass a thorough medical examination based on medical standards.

Additional Information

Examination Process:  The examination process may include one or more of the following:  application review, application appraisal, preliminary competitive rating, performance test, written test, and/or oral interview examination.  The recruitment may require completion of Supplemental Questions in order to evaluate your education, training, and experience relative to the required knowledge and abilities for the position.

​Contact the Reserve Unit at
(408) 808-4570 for further information
or to apply​​​

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