The Reserve OfficerReserve Police Officers are critical to the community policing efforts of many municipal police departments. With many departments lacking sufficient staff to provide the services their citizens expect and many of them feeling the pinch of budget constraints, reserve officers are an important asset. Departments utilize these officers to perform many tasks. They assist with special events; they work shifts when veteran officers are sick or on vacation; they augment the force in times of crisis; and they perform many other vital functions for the community. Departments also use their reserve programs as a means of evaluating the potential of a future police officer before they are hired full time and sent to recruit officer training. Moreover, many men and women who are interested in becoming police officers opt to become reserve officers first to make sure of their career choice and to better position themselves for a full time position.