Reserve Officer Program
Most Bentonville citizens do not realize that volunteer police are an active part of the Bentonville Police Department. Bentonville's Reserve officers are fully sworn law enforcement officers with Arkansas Auxiliary Law Enforcement certifications under CLEST, who volunteer their time and expertise to serve the community. These reserves come from all walks of life, occupations, and educational backgrounds. Bentonville Police Reserve Officers include administrators, organization managers in the corporate world, firefighters (SWAT paramedics) and IT professionals.
“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” – John F. Kennedy
Reserve Officers can work independently or with a partner, depending on their certification, designation, experience, and training. In addition to the occupations listed above, many of the officers who serve within the Reserve Unit have several years of law enforcement experience and want to continue “making a difference” in the community.
Requirements and Selection
Applicants who are selected for processing as a Reserve Officer are required to go through the same stringent background checks and training as a full-time officer. The extensive background process assures that the agency's volunteer officers are of good moral character and reputation. Prospective reserve candidates also undergo medical, psychological, and polygraph examinations. Once selected, candidates must complete academy training if they have not already.
Because it is understood that a volunteer may not be able to complete all necessary training in the same amount of time as a full-time officer, reserve officers are under the direction of a full-time officer when they are working. Reserve Officers still have to meet the extensive training and the evaluation program is the same one that the agency requires its full-time officers to complete. It is carefully designed to ensure that all of the agency's sworn personnel have a thorough understanding of local ordinances, agency policy, and law enforcement procedures.
In addition to academy training and required field training, reserve officers must attend the same annual agency retraining and state certification retraining that is required of all full-time officers. They are also required to attend quarterly Reserve Unit training meetings and are required to undergo regular firearms proficiency training.
Department policy mandates that reserve officers perform at a minimum 8 hours of duty assignments each month, most of which is in patrol. However, most reserve officers volunteer much more than this minimum requirement. Reserve officers are also subject to call outs for special assignments and emergencies, and participate in numerous community events.