It is important to give you a realistic description of the job and its tasks so that you can decide for yourself if the position is truly one in which you have an interest and the ability to do well.
As an IMPD Reserve Police Officer, you will be required to perform a large variety of tasks that require “learned” skills and “people” skills. As in any job, some of these may be appealing to you and some may not.
Some of the skills you will need to perform the duties of an IMPD Reserve Police Officer will be taught at the Academy. Other skills will rely on traits you bring with you because of your character and life experiences. We urge you to consider the entire job of Reserve Police Officers and not just the exciting or glamorous aspects.
What follows is a realistic preview, and not a complete list, of the types of tasks required of all IMPD Reserve Police Officers. It is intended to give you a better understanding of the job and allow you to determine your willingness and ability to perform the job:
- Reserve Police Officers are required to fill out many different forms and reports. Therefore, Officers must write legibly, have a good working knowledge of English grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary and spelling, and be concise, descriptive and thorough in all written documents.
- Reserve Police Officers must testify accurately and credibly in court regarding arrests, reports taken, evidence recovered, and victims’ statements.
- Reserve Police Officers constantly communicate with members of the community. It is crucial to initiate contact with members of the community to better understand the needs and problems of a particular area. Reserve Police Officers must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact with the public. They must interview and obtain information from victims and witnesses of crimes in a manner appropriate to the situation and culture of the people involved. Many such encounters can be unpleasant.
- Reserve Police Officers meet with and make presentations to groups of residents and/or business people from various neighborhoods regarding local crime, traffic and related problems.
- Reserve Police Officers must evaluate situations, determine whether a crime has taken place, and make an independent decision as to what action is appropriate. In doing so, the Officer must consider numerous factors, recognize patterns, and develop theories based upon available information and evidence.
- Reserve Police Officers must volunteer 28 hours (approximately 3 shifts) per month.
- Reserve Police Officers must pay attention to details, noticing minute elements or components of a particular person or crime scene. Officers must be able to visualize and recall an event after the fact in order to construct documentation of the event, possibly for future court testimony. Officers also recognize and gather evidence at the scene of a crime, and they are responsible for the safe storage and transportation of this evidence.
- Reserve Police Officers are required to learn and memorize large quantities of information, including criminal laws, legal terms, IMPD directives, search and seizure laws, laws of evidence and more.
- Reserve Police Officers must be able to operate a mobile digital computer (laptop) to receive assigned calls, communicate with other units, and access various types of information.
- Reserve Police Officers must use problem-solving and reasoning skills to initiate innovative solutions to difficult and unique problems, which are faced on duty.
- Reserve Police Officers resolve citizen conflicts such as business, neighbor, family and traffic-related disputes. Officers must separate the parties involved, interview them, try to calm them down, and mediate a solution to the problem. These disputes can be loud, emotionally charged, combative, and time-consuming.
- Reserve Police Officers monitor and control crowds at scenes where tensions may run high, such as picket lines, protests, and demonstrations. Officers must observe crowd behavior and communicate with group leaders to keep peace and order among those gathered. Groups are often disrespectful and antagonistic toward the police.
- Reserve Police Officers must exhibit leadership by taking control of situations, inspiring confidence, and providing a positive example for others.
- Reserve Police Officers must use their interpersonal skills to calm distraught persons, subdue angry or combative persons, and coax uncooperative persons into providing information.
- Reserve Police Officers may be involved in numerous physically demanding activities that may include:
- Pursuit of suspects in a police vehicle or on foot
- Walking foot patrol
- Controlling crowds
- Physically searching subjects
- Performing rescues by dragging or carrying
- Physically subduing and detaining combative suspects
- Performing CPR and first aid procedures
- Serving arrest or search warrants
- Reserve Police Officers must be able to use firearms in a proficient manner. After Academy training, Officers are required to prove their continued proficiency with firearms by re-qualifying periodically.
- Reserve Police Officers must be able to respond to calls for help by using directional information such as north-south, left-right, and so on.
- Reserve Police Officers work in all parts of the City, under all types of conditions, with all types of people. Officers may be required to search and/or touch suspects or victims who are dirty, neglected, injured or bleeding. Officers also may be required to enter buildings or establishments that are unsanitary or structurally unsound.
- Reserve Police Officers, after establishing probable cause, must detain and/or take suspects into custody. This involves use of Department-approved techniques and equipment such as verbal commands, physical force, handcuffs, intermediate weapons and firearms to subdue suspects while treating them with as much dignity as possible and using the minimum force necessary.
- Reserve Police Officers must be able to work under a great deal of pressure and at times endure substantial criticism. Yet, Officers must maintain a clear head, positive attitude, and solid work ethic.
- Reserve Police Officers deal with a wide variety of people. Officers must remain open-minded, fair, unbiased, and sensitive when dealing with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles.
- Reserve Police Officers may voluntarily work any hour of the day, or any day of the week.
- Reserve Police Officers must observe the Department’s chain of command and have a duty to follow lawful orders.
- Reserve Police Officers must be prepared to use force when required in the lawful performance of their duties, including deadly force when necessary.
- Reserve Police Officers are representatives of the City of Indianapolis. They are also symbols of stability and trust and must always behave ethically and resolve moral conflicts appropriately, both on and off the job. As a Reserve Police Officer, the Department and public view and hold you, as an individual, to a higher standard. More is expected of a Reserve Police Officer than is expected of most people in other career fields.
If you believe that you are willing and able to fulfill these responsibilities, then becoming an IMPD Reserve Police Officer might be right for you.