Shooting prompts Commissioner Price to inquire about reserve deputies

Nearly every law enforcement agency has a reserve officer program, made up of volunteers who fill some gaps for police and sheriff's departments.

But a recent officer-involved shooting centered on a reserve officer in Oklahoma has at least one Dallas County Commissioner wanting to know more about reserve programs in Dallas County.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price says the reserve programs are his focus now after an Oklahoma reserve sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man, thinking he was reaching for his taser. It was his gun instead.

Price wants to know how many reserve deputies are there in Dallas County, their ages and ethnicities and whether they are commissioned Texas peace officers.

"Are they compliant with all of the T-close, the Texas Commission on law enforcement regulations for quote, reserves, and then are they quote, fit for duty?" said Price.

Precinct 4 Constable Roy Williams says his nine reserves "...are required to maintain the same number of hours as the regulars. The only exception that they don't have to do…well, the only thing they don't have to do is the physical agility course."

"I don't think they are part of any taskforces or any so called sting operations, but I don't know that," said Price.

"None of our officers are used in undercover," said Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. "Most of our officers are used in doing a lot of work that is pretty routine when they do go on patrol or traffic or things like that they are usually with another full-time employee."

There are currently 34 Dallas County Sheriff's reserve deputies. The program started back in the 1950s.

The sheriff's posse program is another manned with volunteers like reserve deputies. Price wants to know about it as well, and the reserves who work as bailiffs in various courts.

"The important thing is how we train them and how we use them," said Valdez. "We have to have accountability and we have to be able to verify their training. They need to have the same training that the regular officers do. They don't use it as much, but they need to have the same kind."

"Dallas County bonds those individuals, so if we're bonding, we have a right to know, you know, who's carrying," said Price.

The review begins Tuesday with the sheriff making her presentation to commissioners court. It's expected that the various constables will make their reserves review in the coming weeks.

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