FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The questions and answers below are from the many past visitors to the academy page.
Q. I want to become a full-time peace officer. Can the Reserve Academy help me?
A. Yes. The reserve academy can help you even if you do not become a reserve officer prior to seeking full-time law enforcement employment. The reserve academy will help you develop a law enforcement aptitude and furnish considerable police training. Successful completion of the academy proves to potential law enforcement employers that you have the aptitude for police work and can endure a para-military style academy environment.
Q. What is "P.O.S.T."?
A. The term "POST" is an acronym for California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training. The POST web site can be found here.
Q. What are the age, height and weight requirements to enter the academy?
A. The only absolute requirement is that cadets be a minimum of 18 years old. There is no maximum age. Many cadets in their mid-50s have successfully completed the program. There is no height and weight requirement, but your weight should be in proportion to your height.
Q. Are there tests to enter the academy?
A. Yes, there is a POST Physical Agility Test that must be successfully completed to gain admission. The test includes a 6ft. solid fence climb, a 165lb body drag for 32ft., a 500 yard run and a 99 yard obstacle course. Click here for a detailed description of the POST Physical Agility Test.
Q. Is the academy recognized by out of area law enforcement agencies?
A. Yes. The POST certificate is recognized throughout the state of California. The academy curriculum exceeds California POST standards for reserve officer training.
Q. Do I receive college credit for completion of the academy?
A. Yes. The academy is listed as course CJ V70 in the Ventura College catalog and counts as 12 units of college credit.
Q. When should I apply to the agency that I want to work for?
A. You can apply at any time. However, in order to be deployed, you must first complete the entire 21-week academy program. Many agencies will allow reserve academy cadets to apply and go through the background process while they are attending the academy.
Q. What do Reserve Officer uniforms and badges look like?
A. Reserve Officers or Reserve Deputies are generally indistinguishable from regular, full-time officers or deputies. This includes uniforms, shoulder patches and badges. Ventura County police agencies that have reserve forces do not make uniform distinctions between full-time regular and reserve officers. There are a few agencies outside the area that post an "R" before the badge number (i.e. "R652") to indicate "Reserve", while a few other agencies may have a special rocker on their badge (i.e. "Reserve Police Officer" ).
Q. What do Reserve Officers get to do?
A. It depends on the experience and qualifications of the reserve officer and on the policy and practices of the agency. Level II officers have full peace officer powers while on duty, but must be supervised by either a Level I officer or a regular, full-time officer. Level I officers may, depending on the policy of the agency, be deployed in the same capacity and assignments as a regular, full-time police officer. Check with the reserve coordinator of the particular agency for specific details on deployment.
Q. I have a "little problem" in my background. Will that keep me out of a law enforcement career?
A. Every agency maintains their own guidelines for officer selection. You cannot have any felony convictions and must be of sound mind and character. Beyond that, it is up to the criteria of the individual agency. When applying, it is important to be completely honest about your background. The attached PDF file is a list of possible disqualifications.
Q. Does the academy conduct a background investigation?
A. Yes, the academy conducts a Department of Justice (DOJ) search to ensure cadets have no felony convictions on their record. The academy may check criminal history of cadets, but the actual detailed background investigation is accomplished by the hiring agency.
Q. What is the selection process for reserve officers?
A. The selection process for reserve officers is identical to that of regular full-time officers. In general, the agency will give a written examination, a physical agility test, and then conduct an oral interview. If the candidate is successful, they will be subject to an extensive background investigation that will include a polygraph test. Upon completion of the background, the candidate will be given a psychological examination and medical examination.
Q. Does every cadet become a police officer?
A. No, not usually. Some cadets will graduate in their selected agency uniform. Most of the qualified graduates are picked up by an agency within a year after graduation.
Q. How much does it cost to attend the academy?
A. Tuition is about $400 for California residents. The actual tuition is set by Ventura College. There are other expenses such as a uniform, physical training attire, DOJ fees and first aid books. Additionally, cadets must have running shoes and black dress shoes for uniform wear. It is not unusual to spend a total of about $800 during the 21-week academy session.
Q. Do I have to participate in firearms training?
A. Yes. Firearm qualification is mandatory for P.O.S.T. certification and for successful completion of the program.
Q. Do I have to participate in chemical agents training?
A. Yes. Chemical agents training is an integral portion of the course and is mandatory for P.O.S.T. certification and for successful completion of the program.
Q. Do I have to participate in physical training?
A. Yes. Physical qualification is mandatory for P.O.S.T. certification and for successful completion of the program.
Q. Can I miss some academy sessions for work-related obligations?
A. Yes, but there are many mandatory days that cannot be made up if they are missed. The academy allows as many as 30 excused absent hours.
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