The Burbank Police Reserve Officer Program has a rich history of service to the City of Burbank and the police department. The reserve officer program, as originally configured in 1951, was designed to assist the police department in times of disaster only. The original members of this unit were called "Auxiliaries," and they did not perform law enforcement functions. In keeping with their non-enforcement status, members of the "Auxiliary" wore non-police uniforms, badges, and patches, and they did not carry firearms. The "Auxiliary" configuration was not directly under the auspices of the police department until 1965.
The year 1970 marked the birth of the modern reserve officer program. At this point in time, formal State of California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) education became mandatory. Reserve officers were subsequently expected to carry out law enforcement functions in support of regular officers. The amount of education was minimal (150 hours) by today's requirements, but it was the beginning of a movement toward the standardization of peace officer training and the powers subsequently delegated to them. In 1979, the academy training was increased to 200 hours, combined with a 250 hour field training program, conducted by the individual police department. The final change in state education standards came in 1999, when POST mandated the level-one reserve officers complete the same academy and field training as regular officers.
The hiring process for reserve officers for the Burbank Police Department is in essence identical to that of regular officers. An applicant will first complete an oral and written exam to test their communication skills, decision making abilities, and general suitability for the position. If successful, a physical agility test is followed by a complete background examination. A medical and psychological examination is performed by specialists, followed by an interview with the Chief of Police. A successful candidate is subsequently assigned to an academy class. Upon graduation, a reserve officer completes a comprehensive field training program which equips him/her to perform law enforcement functions in support of regular police officers employed in all divisions of the police department.
The Burbank Police Reserve Officer Program is designed to be accessible to persons who currently have full time occupations. For more information about the BPD Reserve Officer Program, contact the COPS Bureau at 818-238-3230.