Reserve Unit – History

Patrol car

History of the Police Reserve Unit:

On December 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, J.N. Black, Chief of Police of San Jose, called for the formation of a civilian emergency police unit to be part of the police department. In 1960, the organization was renamed The San Jose Police Reserve Unit and it is part of the San Jose Police Department. The responsibilities of the organization were broadened to include not only the civil defense aspects, but general police and law enforcement duties as well. Standards in selection of personnel and training were upgraded to meet and to be in compliance with P.O.S.T., D.O.J., state, and federal laws.

Who are the Reserve Police Officers?

Reserve OfficersThe Reserve Police Officers represent a wide variety of civilian or other government occupations. Some are teachers, engineers, corporate managers, business owners, medical doctors, attorneys, retired police officers, full-time police officers from different police agencies, federal agents, and many others. They are on call to the Police Department 24 hours a day seven days a week. When on duty they are classified as Police Officers with full powers of arrest (830.1 P.C.) whose authority extends to any place in the State. The Reserve Police Officers have the same duties and responsibilities as regular officers. In addition to regular law enforcement duties, they may be called upon to assist in time of major disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes. The Reserve Unit performs many community service activities, which include parades, ride-a-long programs, Walk America, and Christmas in the Park. The San Jose Police Department provides an on going training program for its Reserve Police Officers.

The San Jose Police Reserve Unit consists of over 100 well-qualified individuals who have completed the Basic Police Academy or the Reserve Police Academy (Prior to 1997) and are appointed by the Chief of Police and the City Manager. Once hired, reserve officers must also successfully pass the Department’s Field Training Program.  As an integral part of the Police Department, reserve officers maintain compliance with the same policies, procedures, and duty manual as full time police officers. Upon completion of the Field Training Program, Reserve Police Officers are able to work in many aspects of the police department.

The San Jose Police Reserve Unit has received support and leadership from the San Jose Police Department for the past 60 years. The San Jose Police Reserve Unit is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in existence in the United States. The organization continues to contribute over 45,000 hours per year to the City of San Jose.




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