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City of New HopeMinnesota

New Hope Police Reserve Unit


Police Reserve Officers are non-sworn volunteers who assist the police department in various functions within the limitations set forth by state statutes, city ordinances, and department rules and regulations. Unlike sworn peace officers, Reserve Officers are not licensed by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (MN POST) to enforce the criminal laws of the State of Minnesota and are not compensated for their time. Reserve Officers wear uniforms slightly different from licensed police officers and cannot carry firearms. The Police Reserve unit provides various services such as patrolling the community, assisting at community functions and responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

To become a Reserve Officer, having a background in law enforcement or any related training is unnecessary. Police Reserve Officers come from all walks of life. Some are pursuing careers in professional law enforcement, while others are just citizens wanting to give back to their community. While the individuals who serve as reservists come from a wide variety of backgrounds, they share a common desire to serve the public, doing one of the most challenging volunteer jobs in America. Please browse the information below for more information on New Hope's Police Reserve Unit. 

If you have questions, contact Reserve Captain Todd Hesemann at 
[email protected] or Sergeant Chris Swaja at 763.531.5170 or [email protected], or if ready to apply, use the application below.

History of the New Hope Police Reserve Unit

The New Hope Reserve unit was founded in 1963. Its mission is to provide services to the New Hope Police Department, School District 281, and other community organizations. While the membership numbers vary, the unit strives to maintain between 14 and 16 reservists. One of the current members has served in the unit for over 30 years, with many others contributing over ten years of service!

The primary purpose of the reserve unit is to assist the department whenever needed. Oftentimes, this can be on very short notice. The Police Reserves can be called-out (day or night) for any number of reasons, including severe weather conditions, fire scene protection, lost/missing person searches, crime scene protection, serious traffic accidents, power outages or special details as needed by the police department.

The New Hope Reserve Unit functions as part of the New Hope Police Department but is autonomous concerning administration and daily operations. While most police departments assign a licensed officer to supervise their reserve unit, the New Hope reserves are instead governed by a board of ranking members within the unit. The board members interface with the Chief of Police and Captains to coordinate special events and communicate changing department policies. All hiring of new members, disciplinary action, and reserve budget spending is handled within the reserve unit. It is a source of pride among the reserve members to be respected and trusted enough by the department to allow the unit to operate with minimal supervision.

The unit meets monthly to plan upcoming events, share lessons learned in the line of duty, and discuss other general topics. The monthly meetings are also used to provide additional training for the unit.

Reserve Officer Duties

Reserve Officers work regularly scheduled patrol shifts, generally taking place on Friday and Saturday nights. Reserves work in pairs and drive a squad car assigned just for the unit. The reserve squad is equipped exactly the same as a licensed officer's vehicle, with a few exceptions, such as the absence of a video camera and firearm. Each weekend shift runs from 7 p.m. until at least 2 a.m. Patrol shifts are generally not scheduled for weeknights. When on patrol, Reserve Officers drive through residential areas, parking lots, schools, malls and businesses looking for suspicious activity. Reserves may be asked to handle a low-priority call, back up a licensed officer, or respond to a medical call, fire or accident scene.

Reserve Officers also provide security, crowd control and traffic direction at special events such as New Hope city events, Cooper High School football games, school carnivals and other events which may draw large numbers of people. In addition, the Reserves assist other cities with special events taking place within their city.

Occasionally, the Reserves are asked to assist the police department or the SWAT team with training exercises. In this capacity, Reserves play the role of the "suspect" or help in other ways. Reserves are also asked to participate in mock disaster drills, playing various roles.

Reserves have the opportunity to assist the community in so many ways. Some of the duties of a New Hope Reserve Officer include, but are not limited to:

  •  Patrolling roadways, residential areas, parks, businesses and schools.
  • Backing licensed officers on calls and traffic stops.
  • Responding to medical calls, fire calls, and accident scenes.
  • Answering low-priority calls for service, such as animal control and nuisance complaints, and keeping licensed officers free for high-priority calls.
  • Transporting prisoners to jail.
  • Providing security and a police presence at school functions.
  • Providing traffic and crowd control at city events.
  • Assisting stalled motorists.
  • Handling found property.
  • Searching and impounding seized vehicles.
  • Securing crime scenes and protecting evidence.
  • Patrolling with licensed career officers.

Reserve Unit Structure

The ranking membership of the New Hope Reserve Unit consists of a Captain, a Lieutenant and two Sergeants. These members also make up the Reserve Officers Board. The other members hold the following titles based on their years of service, completed training and participation in the unit.

  •  Cadet: 1-3 months
  • Rookie: 4 - 12 months
  • Patrol Officer: 13+ months
  • Senior Patrol Officer: 18+ months

Senior Patrol Officers must also pass a written exam and an evaluation by the Reserve Officers Board. Ranks of Sergeant and above are acquired through appointments by the Reserve Officers Board or the Chief of Police. They are awarded to those who demonstrate an extraordinary level of performance, commitment to duty and a strong leadership aptitude.

New members start as cadets until they complete the New Hope Reserve Cadet Training Program and other required training. At that point, they are considered Rookie Patrol Officers subject to a nine-month probation period. From there, members may strive to attain higher levels of seniority.

The Reserve Officers Board meets monthly and is responsible for budgeting and managing the reserve unit funds, interviewing potential candidates, and reviewing and evaluating the performance and conduct of all reserve members.

Reserve Officer Training

Previous experience isn't necessary to become a New Hope Reserve Officer. Members are provided training upon initial appointment and ongoing throughout their careers. Some of the training areas include:

Hennepin County Sheriff's School

New Reserve Officers must attend the Hennepin County Sheriff's Police Reserve School one night a week for ten weeks. The school consists of several classes on topics such as how to behave at a crime scene, familiarization with police K-9, water patrol, officer safety, traffic direction, law enforcement organization and other pertinent subjects.

New Hope Reserve Cadet Training Program

New Reserve Officers must attend and pass this class provided by the New Hope Reserve Unit members. The class runs once a week for approximately 12 weeks and provides recruits with the policies and procedures specific to the City of New Hope. Topics include general patrol techniques, city familiarization, radio procedures, search and seizure, dealing with people, driving procedures, written communication, firearms training and more.

Medical Training (First Responder)

Each unit member must become first responder certified after one year of service. The course consists of 40 hours of classroom and hands-on training taught by North Memorial staff. Once acquired, the certification requires an 8-hour refresher course annually. 

Defense Tactics

Reserves are required to complete this training annually, and the police department defensive tactics coordinator conducts it. The training consists of a refresher on the use of force continuum, handcuffing, restraint holds, baton, mace and taser usage.

Firearms Training and Qualification

Reserves are required twice a year to pass a firearms qualification course. An authorized Reserve range officer conducts this course. While Reserves are not allowed by the State of Minnesota to carry firearms, unit members must be familiar with the firearms used by licensed New Hope Police Officers.

Defensive Driving

After completing a year of service, each Reserve Officer can attend a pursuit driving course. This course teaches driving techniques, driver safety and provides an understanding of the performance and capabilities of a police vehicle.

The City of New Hope also requires all Reserve Officers to complete a classroom Defensive Driving course every three years.  

Bloodborne Pathogens / Hazardous Materials

These classes are provided for all new members, and refreshers are required periodically. The courses generally are video presentations.

Each member must complete the initial training requirements and keep up-to-date on all certifications. 


While much training is required, only the New Hope Cadet Training Program must be completed with a passing status before new members are eligible (within specific guidelines) to patrol and participate in community functions. All other training must be completed within the required time frames specified in the New Hope Police Reserve Rules and Regulations Handbook.


Occasionally, additional opportunities exist to attend voluntary training hosted by Hennepin County or other agencies. Some topics may include storm spotter training, traffic school or public safety bulletins. 

Reserve Officer Uniform

Although nearly all uniform clothing and equipment is furnished by the department, there are a few items that each new member must purchase on their own. It is very costly for the department to issue uniforms, and the cost incurred by each new member is kept at a minimum.

A ballistic vest is provided once a new member has established themselves in the unit.

All department-issued articles must be returned upon leaving the reserve unit.

Qualifications to Become a New Hope Reserve Officer

The following qualifications must be met to become a New Hope Police Reserve Officer:

  •  Minimum of 21 years of age
  • High school graduate or GED
  • United States citizen
  • Possess a valid Minnesota driver's license with a good driving record
  • Good physical condition
  • Have a clear criminal record and background
  • Complete an informational interview
  • Live in the northwest suburbs
  • Willing to serve a minimum of 10 hours per month
  • Not be a member of another police/sheriff reserve unit, fire department or sworn law enforcement officer
Apply to Become a New Hope Reserve Officer

If you would like to apply to become a New Hope Police Reserve Officer, please complete and submit the application linked below,

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