The HCSO Reserve Command is the largest sheriff's reserve organization in Texas and second largest in the nation. Other departments throughout the nation have emulated the HCSO Reserve program as an effective way to increase available personnel without capital expenditures. The monetary savings of the HCSO Reserve Command to Harris County totals more than $100 million over the last 40 years.

HCSO Reserve deputies have the same training, legal authority and responsibilities as full-time HCSO deputies. The primary difference is they volunteer their services without monetary compensation.

Reserve deputies work in all areas of the HCSO, such as Patrol, Criminal Warrants, Criminal Investigations, Fugitive Transports, Marine Patrol and more. The Harris County Sheriff's Office Reserve Command has approximately 200 volunteers with diverse skills, knowledge and experience. They include engineers, mechanics, doctors, corporate managers and attorneys. Some reservists have previously been full time law enforcement officers and many full time deputies began their career as a reserve deputy.

How To Apply Reserve Deputy

State law requires all reserve candidates to go through the same stringent background check and training as someone seeking regular, full-time employment with any Texas law enforcement agency. Candidates must also pass the same state exam for licensing as a regular officer. An extensive background investigation and drug testing help ensure only applicants of good moral character and reputation enter the reserve organization.

By departmental regulation, a reserve deputy must perform a minimum of 20 hours of duty assignment each month and attend a reserve meeting. Reserves also must pass regular firearms qualifications and can be called for special assignments and emergencies. Most reservists volunteer much more than the required minimum time.

To Apply Non-Certifed Peace Officers (need academy), Click Here

To Apply Certified Peace Officers, Click Here

Frequently Asked Questions

No. However you have to be at least  21 years old at the time you are accepted to a Basic Peace Officer Class.  Persons applying to become reserve detention officers may apply at the age of 21.
You need to graduate from the academy, be assigned to a patrol station and in most cases, get patrol qualified.  Once you're patrol qualified you can contact the specialized units you might be interested in about a possible transfer.
If you still hold an active TCOLE peace officer license, you will need to go through some processing and a background investigation, but do not need to repeat a Basic Peace Officer academy.
Out of state applicants will need to obtain a Texas peace officer license through TCOLE.  Details of this process can be found on the TCOLE website at
Yes. You can request the change; requests are approved in most cases.
20 hours per month minimum is normally required of all reserve deputies regardless of where you are assigned in the department.
Some people prefer to hold on to their present jobs and go through the Reserve Academy to see how much they're going to enjoy law enforcement; whether they want to do it on a part-time basis or whether they want to make a career out of it.
You must be a high school graduate or have a G.E.D. Additionally, you must have either 30 hours of college credit or two years of military service with an honorable discharge.
No. You must be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalized.
The totality of the circumstances will be evaluated by your background investigator.  You should explain the situation fully and truthfully in your application; use extra pages if necessary.
Individuals who were previously reserve deputies may be reinstated if they have a valid TCOLE Peace Officer License and pass a background update.