Eight new reserve deputies joined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 18.
From an initial class of 10 recruits, the eight new officers spent Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as every other weekend since the beginning of February working to complete the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Academy.
The almost 600-hour academy, taught by certified instructors from the Sheriff’s Office, is equivalent to the curriculum full-time officers complete at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.
Since reserve deputies have full-time jobs, they cannot attend a live-in academy, so instruction is provided in an alternate manner. The new deputies still must complete more than 500 hours in field training under the supervision of a merit deputy before being released to work solo.
The 28 current deputies of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division are non-paid individuals who are dedicated to supporting and assisting the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of the county. The Reserve Division provides relief for merit deputies when necessary by augmenting manpower when there is a shortage as well as supporting programs initiated by Sheriff Mark Bowen.
In addition to road patrol duties, reserves also provide court security, assist when jail inmates are hospitalized, work events such as charity races and bike rides, ensure sex and violent offenders meet the terms of their registration and more.
Reserve deputies must maintain the same annual training as full-time deputies. Although they are only required to serve 24 hours each month, many Hamilton County reserve deputies volunteer more than 1,000 hours each year, saving county residents hundreds of thousands of tax dollars annually.