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By Brendan Relaford
For The Sentinel 

Deadline today for sheriff reserve officer training

 


Today is the last day to apply for the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office’s reserve officer training session that will be held at the County Courthouse beginning Monday, June 10. To be considered for the training session, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen in good standing and have a high school diploma or GED and a valid Washington State driver’s license.

As defined by the Washington State Justice Training Commission (WSJTC), reserve officers are “specially commissioned Washington peace officers” who when called into active service, function in the same capacity as full-time officers to enforce the criminal laws of Washington State.

The reserve academy curriculum adopted by WSJTC is designed to provide reserve officers with the basic knowledge and skills required for safe, proper and effective law enforcement service. To qualify as a reserve officer, approved applicants must complete a minimum of 249.5 hours of instructional blocks that include criminal law and procedure, crisis intervention, use of force, defensive tactics, patrol procedures, criminal investigations, evidence law and firearms, including range qualifications. Trainees also learn about communications skills, ethics, civil liability, first aid and emergency vehicle operations.

Students must meet prescribed performance objectives for each instructional block.

After completing the course, trainees have to pass a written exam, take a mandatory polygraph test and be subject to a thorough background check, including a psychological assessment. Once they clear those hurdles, they receive the State’s basic reserve certificate, which allows them to exercise throughout the county any authority the special commission vests in them.

A Klickitat County reserve officer’s service is strictly voluntary and without pay. While on duty, reserve officers may carry a gun supplied by the sheriff’s office. When in uniform, they have the same power as paid deputies when it comes to crime prevention and law enforcement. Officers not in uniform do not have the authority to make arrests, but if they witness a crime, they are expected to call for backup.

Currently, the sheriff’s office has approved twelve applicants, which Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer says is a good showing. “We encourage people to give the program a try,” he says, “and we certainly appreciate the volunteer participation.”

People who believe they are qualified and are willing to put in the time and effort the training session requires should call 773-4455 and ask to speak with Deputy Gaven Marbel, who screens potential applicants. Anyone interested in becoming a reserve officer but misses the deadline for the June training can ask Marble for information about the next scheduled session.

 

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