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Laid Off Officers Return As Reserves

POSTED July 16, 2010 9:57 a.m.
The four officers who were given pink slips effective July 1 will still wear the Oakdale Police Department uniform as reserve officers, said Oakdale Police Chief Marty West.West went before Oakdale City Council members on Tuesday, July 6 to ask council members to establish a designated Level 1 reserve officer job description so that the four officers laid off could fulfill the enforcement duties that include the full powers and duties of a peace officer.West explained to council that non-designated Level 1 reserves are not able to carry a concealed weapon when they’re not on the job. In most instances the chief makes arrangements with the local sheriff for the reserve officer to acquire a concealed weapons permit for the reserves but the Level 1 designation will extend the peace officer authority, which includes the right to carry a concealed weapon.“Given our current fiscal woes, reserve officers are invaluable,” West said. “It allows us to increase sworn staffing levels on short notice and to backfill vacant patrol officer positions when full-time officers are unavailable or are not interested in working extra during their normal days off. The community is benefiting by having former veteran officers (those who have retired and those who were laid-off) work periodically during our times of need. These are reserve officers who are knowledgeable about the community and the people who live here.”Case in point, West pointed out that recently retired Lt Vernon Gladney is now serving as a Level 1 reserve officer. To date, eight of the nine reserve officers are Level 1.Although the reserve officers aren’t paid hourly, the department offers paid assignments from time to time such as when someone is willing to pay for the hourly cost of the reserve officer, such as Sober Grad, Concerts in the Park, and rodeo security.“There are also benefits for the laid off officers, all of whom elected to become reserve officers here,” West said. “Officers who retire or are laid off will lose their California Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Basic Certification unless they continue to work as reserve officers. As such, they are required to work 16 hours each month. Otherwise, the four laid-off officers would have to recertify (attend a modified police academy course) if their lapse in service goes beyond three years.”
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