Home Emerging Issues in Law Enforcement

Emerging Issues in Law Enforcement

Developing a Modernized Reserve Unit: Civil Liability Considerations

By Christopher L. McFarlin, J.D., Criminal Justice
Police agencies must consider the potential liability of having reserve officers who are undertrained, insufficiently equipped, or poorly screened. Some police agencies create a substantial contrast between their reserve officers and their full-time officers. It is essential for administrators to understand that the courts do not make this distinction when assessing liability. With no effective distinction in the views of the law or the public, agencies must hold their reserves to the same level of scrutiny as regular officers when hiring, terminating, training, and developing them.

Developing a Modernized Reserve Unit: Infrastructural Considerations

By Christopher L. McFarlin, J.D., Criminal Justice

Across the country, police departments continuously rely on units of reserve officers for a multitude of assignments. However, historically, there has always been a divide between full-time officers and reserve officers. This is, in large part, due to the fact that full-time police officers don’t see reserve officers as their equals. AMU criminal justice professor Christopher McFarlin writes about how agencies who intend to continue or increase their use of reserve officers must adapt a command and management structures, determine requirements of relevant state laws, and focus their attention on integrating reserve officers into the wider department.