Atlantic Iowa Police Department

Reserve officers are volunteers from the community who take time from there personal lives to work as police officers. These highly dedicated individuals spend numerous hours working and training with the police department.

Atlantic Iowa Police Department Squad Car


  RESERVE OFFICERS

The Atlantic Police Department is assisted by the Atlantic Police Department Reserve Unit. Reserve officers are volunteers from the community who take time from there personal lives to work as police officers. These highly dedicated individuals spend numerous hours working and training with the police department. By Iowa Code reserve officers are given the same authority and powers of arrest as full-time officers. The difference between regular and reserve officers is that reserves are not financially compensated and they set there own working hours. The training reserve officers receive is primarily done "in house" by full-time officers who are certified through the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy as instructors. These Instructors not only train the reserve officers but regular officers as well. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy also calls upon them to assist in instructing the Basic Academy Cadets.

Reserve officers hold a monthly meeting and training session. In addition to the monthly training, the department as a whole participates in all day training blocks on a quarterly basis.

Reserve officers are utilized in several areas. While on patrol reserve officers typically work with a full-time officer. The reserve officer works as a "cover officer" as he and his partner answer calls for service, respond to emergency situations, enforce traffic laws and handle the diverse situations which arise. Reserve officers also assist with special assignments such as narcotics enforcement, bike patrol, crime scenes, community service projects, and surveillance.

The process to become a reserve officer is rather lengthy. Perspective reserves are required to ride along with a full-time officer for five different shifts. The purpose for this is two fold. First the perspective officer has the opportunity to get a taste of what law enforcement is really like, not the perception. The other purpose is for the full-time Officers to get to know the perspective reserve and to see how he reacts to the different situations which arise. After the candidate has completed the ride time their application for the unit will be accepted. The application will be reviewed by the department as a whole. The perspective officer will be interviewed by the reserve unit supervisors. He or she will then be invited to a reserve unit meeting. At the meeting the perspective officer will be interviewed by the entire reserve unit. During the interview the perspective officer will be questioned in numerous areas such as there past history, why they want to be a reserve officer, what they have to offer the unit, how they would handle different scenarios, how there family feels about them being an officer and etc. When the interview is complete two officers will be assigned to complete a detailed background investigation. During this process the candidates criminal history, driving record and employment history will be examined. Personal references, employment references, family, friends and acquaintances will also be interviewed. The results of the background investigation will be brought to the next reserve meeting. At that meeting all officers in the unit will discuss the applicant and then vote rather or not to accept them. If the results of the vote are positive the application will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for review and approval. With the Chief's approval the applicant will then be hired and begin the training process.

Rookie reserve officers are required to complete 40 hours of training in the first year. A few of the required topics are Laws of arrest, Use of force, CPR, vehicle stops defensive tactics, felony in progress, and etc. After a six month probationary period reserve officers can begin firearms training. This consists of an additional 40 hours of in-depth firearms training in which written and practical examinations are completed. Second and subsequent year reserve officers are required to maintain all previous certifications and complete 30 hours of training annually.

Reserve officers are required to work a minimum of 10 hours a month to maintain their skills. In addition they are required to attend the monthly meeting and training sessions. They are also scheduled to work at the Atlantic High School during functions such as sporting events.

Due to the extreme amount of time required, and the ever present threat of danger, many people ask why anyone would want to be a reserve officer.

Typically reserves fall into one of two categories. Many are civic minded individuals who serve the community in which they live and work. Their intent is to give back to the community and to make it a better place. The second category are those individuals who want to become full-time officers. Starting as a reserve gives a person hands on practical exposure. This insight gained helps people decide if this is really a career they want to pursue. The training and experience gained as a reserve officer is very similar to that of a full-time officer and is an asset on an application for a full-time position.

The Atlantic Police Department is always looking for responsible, mature, qualified reserve officers. If interested in applying or if you have any questions about our unit contact us at 712-243-3512 or visit us at the Atlantic Police Department.

Current Reserve Offices include:

Officer Bob McHugh

Officer Jeff Hackwell

Officer Jake Karns

Officer Jamie Meek
Officer Chris Valeika
Officer Ryan Barnholdt
Officer Jarrad Cavin
Officer Cole Lowary