The Craighead County Sheriff’s Department is comprised of Reserve Deputy Sheriffs. While on duty, these deputies have the same power of arrest as a full-time deputy. Reserve Deputy Sheriffs are not paid; instead, volunteering their time to support the functions of the Sheriff’s Office. Craighead County provides each officer with uniforms, body armor, rain gear, and duty gear.
Reserve Deputies must meet the same qualifications as certified police officers. These include:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have received a minimum of a G.E.D.
- Pass a thorough background check, including credit history
- Pass a physical examination by the county’s doctor
- Pass a psychological examination by the county’s psychiatrist
- Complete an oral interview with the Sheriff, Chief Deputy, and their designees
- Successfully complete a certified Reserve Officer Training Course
- Successfully complete an initial ride-along with a full-time deputy totaling two-hundred hours
Additionally, Reserve Deputies must work a minimum of eight hours per month to maintain their certification in accordance with Arkansas State Law. The Craighead County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Program also has monthly meetings, typically on the last Tuesday of every month.
Reserve Deputies enforce all state and local laws the same as full-time officers. Because their mission is to supplement the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office, they frequently work the following:
- Prisoner Transports
- Natural Disasters (such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires)
- Security for special events
- Civil Process service
Reserve Deputies frequently fill in for full-time deputies who are sick, subpoenaed to court, or taking vacation. As such, Reserve Deputies must be capable of handling any type of police emergency.
Q: How do I apply to be a Reserve Deputy?
A: Applications are available at the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office. By law, the number of Reserve Deputies is limited. Vacancies are typically published in the local paper. You are encouraged to submit an application only when there are openings.
Q: What type of training do Reserve Deputies undergo?
A: During their school, candidates learn constitutional law, Arkansas law, first aid, defensive tactics, firearms training, basic investigative techniques, and many other areas of law enforcement. Additionally, Reserve Deputies undergo over forty hours of annual in-service training throughout the year.
Q: As a Reserve Deputy, can I carry a gun off-duty?
A: No. By state law, only certified officers can carry weapons off-duty. However, Reserve Deputies can carry weapons anytime they are working under the supervision of a full-time officer.
Q: Are Reserve Deputies required to work certain hours?
A: No. Reserve Deputies have normal, civilian jobs. Therefore, many choose to work nights or weekends. The Craighead County Sheriff’s Office does not force Reserve Deputies to work certain shifts.
Q: How much danger is involved in being a Reserve Deputy?
A: Reserve Deputies undergo the same risks as full-time officers.