New Hope Police Reserve Unit

WHAT IS A POLICE RESERVE OFFICER?

Police Reserve Officers are non-sworn volunteers who assist the police department in a variety of 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 that are slightly different than the licensed police officers and are not allowed to carry fire arms. The Police Reserve unit provides a variety of services such as patrolling the community, assisting at community functions, and responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

To become a Reserve Officer it is not necessary to have a background in law enforcement or any type of related training. 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 men and women 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 and dangerous volunteer jobs in America.  Please browse the information below for more information on New Hope's Police Reserve Unit. 

If you have questions please contact Reserve Capt. Todd Hesemann at thesemann@newhopemn.gov or Sgt. Chris Swaja at 763-531-5170 or cswaja@newhopemn.gov, or if ready to apply, please use the application below.

HISTORY OF THE NEW HOPE POLICE RESERVE UNIT

The New Hope Reserve unit was founded in 1963. It's mission is to provide services to the New Hope Police Department, School District 281, and other community organizations. While the membership numbers varies, the unit strives to maintain between 14 and 16 reservists. One of the current members has served in the unit for more than 30 years, with many others having contributed over 10 years of service!

The primary purpose of the reserve unit is to assist the department whenever needed. Often times, 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 with respect to 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 made up 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 once a month to plan upcoming events, share lessons learned in the line of duty, and to 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 7pm until at least 2am. 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 at any time to handle a low priority call, backup a licensed officer, or respond to a medical call, fire or accident scene.

Reserve Officers also provide security, crowd control, and traffic direction at many special events such as Duk Duk Daze, 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 in 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 assist in other ways. Reserves are also asked to participate in mock disaster drills playing a variety of 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, 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, 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 pass 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 and are awarded to those individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary level of performance and  commitment to duty as well as a strong leadership aptitude.

New members start out 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 things such as budgeting and management of the reserve unit funds, interviewing potential candidates, and reviewing and evaluating performance and conduct of all reserve members.

RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING

No previous experience or particular background is necessary to become a New Hope Reserve Officer. Members are provided with a great deal of training upon initial appointment as well as on-going throughout their career.

Some of the training areas include:

Hennepin County Sheriff School

New Reserve Officers are required to 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 many other pertinent subjects.

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

Medical Training (First Responder)
Each unit member is required to become First Responder Certified after one year of service. The course consists of 40 hours of classroom and hands-on training and is taught by North Memorial staff members. Once aquired, this certification must be kept up-to-date by completing an 8 hour refresher course each year.

Defense Tactics
Reserves are required to complete this training annually and is conducted by the police department Defensive Tactics coordinator. 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. This course is conducted by an authorized Reserve range officer. While reserves are not allowed by the state of Minnesota to carry firearms, it is imperative that unit members are familiar with the firearms used by licensed New Hope police officers.

Defensive Driving
After completing a year of service each Reserve Officer has the opportunity to 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.  

Blood Borne Pathogens / Hazardous Materials
These classes are provided for all new members and refreshers are required periodically. The courses generally are video taped presentations.

Each member is required to 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 is required to be completed with a passing status before new members are eligible (within certain guidelines) to patrol and participate at community functions. All other training must be completed within the required time frames specified in the New Hope Police Reserve Rules and Regulations Handbook.
From time to time, there are additional opportunities to attend voluntary training hosted by Hennepin County or other agencies.  Some of the topics may include, storm spotter training, traffic school, or public safety bulletins. 

RESERVE UNIFORMS

Although nearly all uniform clothing and equipment are 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 will be 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

All of 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 drivers 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 RESERVE OFFICER

If you would like to apply to become a New Hope Police Reserve Officer, please download the application below, complete it, and submit it following the directions on the application.