In Colorado, the use of reserve officers has made life easier for law enforcement agencies struggling to find qualified candidates for police positions where budgets are tight.
According to the Denver Post, “Former Colorado Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll occasionally suits up for the Colorado Rangers as a reserve law enforcement officer to help smaller communities, a throw-back to his early days as a campus officer at the University of Colorado Boulder.”
“It really is a good way to give back to the community in a proactive way,” said Carroll, the newly minted chief of legal and external affairs for Denver Public Schools.
But with some high profile incidents that have led to lawsuits involving reserves and recent reports that some billionaire-types are using reserve programs to allow their private security guards to carry concealed firearms across state lines, some are raising questions about reserves and standards.
In Colorado, some reserve officers have some training while others have none whatsoever. Some can carry firearms and some can’t. It’s basically up to the sheriff.
And maybe before worrying about training standards for reserves, it might make sense to focus on training standards for certified cops first.
“More than 50 percent of peace officers in Colorado are not POST certified,” said Bill Tolbert, the Rangers’ second in command, noting that includes officers such as bailiffs, RTD police, park rangers and corrections officers. “It was a misconception that all were certified and trained.”