Friday, January 2, 2015

Road to Reserves - Applying to Become a Volunteer Reserve Patrol Deputy

Growing up, I never imagined I would become interested in applying to become a volunteer reserve patrol deputy. Even with a father who worked for many years as a police officer, I had misconceptions about what characteristics would make a successful deputy.

Now I’m getting ready to begin the reserve academy on January 6, 2015!

My name is Sara and I’m thirty two years old. I work full-time and I’m a single mom to my four-year-old daughter. I like reading, I’ve never been in a fist fight, and I studied acting when I first went to college.

Not exactly what you’d picture when you imagine a volunteer reserve deputy candidate, right?

It was only once I came to work for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) in 2009 that I gained insight as to what makes an effective deputy. With that knowledge, I came to believe I might be a good fit for the reserve program.

Two of the most important qualities the WCSO looks for when selecting applicants for any paid or volunteer position are excellent communication skills and a strong values set. Skills like using a radio, shooting a firearm or even taking a combative suspect into custody can all be taught.

Compassion, an ability to keep calm during stressful events, and integrity, on the other hand, are core personality traits.

Perhaps most important, I believe a successful applicant needs to possess confidence and determination.

I know spending sixteen hours a week in the academy for the next five months will not be easy. I will continue to work forty hours a week in my paid position while juggling my other personal responsibilities, attending the academy, and studying in my off hours.

Completing this challenge successfully – and showing my daughter what her mom can accomplish – is very important to me. I also have a great support system of friends and family members cheering me on.

Pursuing this volunteer position will be an opportunity for me to determine if I’d like to apply for a paid deputy position in the future. I’ll also have the chance to get out on the road and hopefully make a positive difference in my community.

I hope you’ll join me as I continue my journey through the reserve academy. I plan to share my successes and difficulties, and hopefully encourage some of you to take the leap and apply to become a reserve deputy with the WCSO!

I welcome your questions along the way. Thanks for reading!

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