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Reserve Law Enforcement Academy, Course #0080
Are you interested in becoming a Reserve Officer? Contact your local Sheriff's Office or Police Department and ask for their Reserve Coordinator. Keep in mind that the Commission is usually not made aware of Reserve Academies until after their selection process has occurred. 


This class is a minimum of 246 hours in length. The Reserve Academy curriculum adopted by the Commission is designed similar to that of the Basic Academy, including student performance objectives for each instructional block. It is designed to provide reserves with the basic knowledge and skills required for safe, proper and effective law enforcement service. Instructional blocks include: Criminal Law and Procedure, Communications Skills, Crisis Intervention, Defensive Tactics, Patrol Procedures, Criminal Investigations, Evidence Law, Firearms, including range qualifications, EVOC, Use of Force, Ethics, Civil Liability and First Aid. 

Graduates of those Academies which have been approved by the Training Commission and who, upon academy completion, pass a certification examination developed and administered by the Commission, will receive the state's basic reserve officers certificate. Such certification satisfies the basic training requirements for reserve officers under the Washington Aid Peace Powers Act, RCW 10.93.090.

As a precondition to the exercise of extra-territorial enforcement powers under the Washington Mutual Aid Officer Powers Act, RCW 10.93.090, an individual who is commissioned as a reserve officer must possess a Basic Reserve Certificate issued by the Training Commission. That certificate is issued to any successful attendee of an accredited Basic Reserve Academy.

WAC 139-05-810 Basic training requirements for reserve officers

“Reserve Officer” includes any law enforcement officer who does not serve as a law enforcement officer of this state on a full-time basis, but who when called into active service, is fully commissioned on the same basis as full-time officers to enforce the criminal laws of this state.

Steps to becoming a Reserve Officer:
1. Application must be submitted through a law enforcement agency that accepts reserve applications.

2. Applicant:
a. Have no felony convictions
b. Have no conviction of crimes that would prohibit a Washington citizen from the legal right to possess a firearm
c. Meet the requirements of WAC 139-05-810

3. Once the application is accepted, and a “conditional offer of employment” is made to the reserve applicant, the applicant must take and successfully pass a psychological examination and a polygraph test administered pursuant to RCW 43.101.105 (2)(a) (i) and (ii).

4. The applicant must successfully complete a Basic Reserve Officer Academy, normally conducted by the sponsoring agency, or in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.

5. Upon completion of the Basic Academy requirements, the applicant must successfully pass the final Reserve examination proctored by the Commission, at which time a Reserve Certificate will be issued by the Commission.

6. Exemptions from the training requirements of Reserve officers can be requested by the employing agency under WAC 139-03-030.

Academy Coordinators: 

The 2011-2012 Basic Reserve Academy curriculum is complete. If you are planning to begin an academy anytime between September 2011 and June 2012, please contact Tisha Ehret at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to receive a copy of the curriculum.
Outdated forms will not be accepted for future academies.

Prerequisite:   Any person attending the academy must be sponsored by a law enforcement agency.
Application Form: Because this is not a "self-sponsored" course, the Commission does not accept applications from individual applicants.

Tisha Ehret, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Phone:206.835.7332

Cost: See Status/Registration column next to the course you wish to take.
Frequently Asked Questions about Reserves

Question: How can I become a Reserve Officer?
Answer: Because not all agencies have reserve officers, please contact the agency you would like to be a reserve officer for. If that agency does not use reserve officers, they should be able to recommend a local agency that does. The WSCJTC provides the curriculum and oversight for the Reserve Officer Academy and is not an employing agency.

Question: Can Reserve’s serve as full-time officers?
Answer:  No, reserve officers, by definition, are other than full-time officers and are not to be used in lieu of a certified Washington peace officer.


Question: There isn't a Reserve Academy available in my area this year. Is there anything preventing a reserve from working prior to receiving training?

Answer: According to WAC 139-05-810(2) …every individual who is commissioned as a specially commissioned reserve peace officer in this state will obtain a basic reserve certificate as a precondition of the exercise of authority pursuant to such act…

Question: Is there an Equivalency process to become a Reserve Officer?
Answer: Yes, please review  WAC 139-05-825. The sponsoring agency must contact the Training Commission to make application to request recognition of the equivalent reserve officer.

Question: Can Reserves be compensated?
Answer: Some agencies do compensate reserve officers for the time they serve. Reserves are considered “at will” employees or “paid volunteers” and as such they are not entitled to certain benefits or retirement systems such as LEOFF II. Agencies have employed persons with reserve commissions, but compensated then as city or county employees in another capacity.

Question: Can I work as a reserve officer for more than one agency?
Answer: First, check with your primary agency to see if they will allow this. If they do, you may work for another agency only if they too have met the requirements of RCW 43.101.080(19) and have notified the Commission.

Question: How long does my Reserve certificate stay current?
Answer: Once you have been recognized as a Reserve officer, your certificate stays current unless you have a break or interruption in service as a reserve for more than twelve months. Keep in mind, a break in service of (a) more than twelve but less than twenty-four months must successfully complete the requirements of RCW 43.101.080(19) and the comprehensive reserve final test proctored by the commission; (b) more than twenty-four but less than thirty-six months must successfully pass the psychological and polygraph tests, complete the criminal history and background check, and successfully pass the comprehensive reserve final test proctored by the commission; (c) more than thirty-six months break in service requires the person to attend the basic reserve law enforcement academy.

Question: Do I have to be a US Citizen to be a Reserve Officer?
Answer: Please contact the agency you would like to be a reserve officer for, as this question relates to the hiring process.

This class is:Sponsored
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