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Reserve Units

Aero Squadron

The Aero Squadron provides air support to the Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies that require aviation resources to complete their tasks.  Members participate in continual training to ensure the highest level of pilot competency.

General Requirements for Aero Squadron Reserve Unit

  • Prefer private pilot or better with instrument rating, and significant flight experience.
  • Ready access to an aircraft when called for duty.
  • Availability to perform assignments when requested and attend meetings on a regular basis.
  • Willingness to donate personal time and out of pocket expenses for the benefit of the County of Orange and State of California.
  • Successfully pass a practical check by an Aero Squadron designated CFII both on the ground and in flight. (may be waived by staff for scheduled recurrent training: for example airline pilot members).
  • Become a sworn reserve officer of the Orange County Sheriff's Department or complete the PSR orientation program.

Requirements for Continued Membership

  • Flight Status
    • Retain flight skills and conduct monthly practice of at least two (2) flight hours.
    • Pass an annual Aero Squadron oral and flight check given by one of the squadron's CFII's.
    • Retain valid FAA pilot's license, required physical examination and biennial flight review.
  • All Members
    • Pass bi-annual written and practical tests in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and recurrent tests in First Aid.
    • Continued availability to perform mission assignments and attend meetings regularly.
    • Attend bi-annual weekend training exercises. Pay nominal dues and other assessments required.
    • Maintain pistol shooting skills and qualify as required (except PSR).

Community Programs

Members of the Community Programs Reserve Unit coordinate and attend community functions, including car shows, school events, and parades, among others. The unit provides a law enforcement presence to educate the public and stress the importance to all of staying off drugs, staying out of gangs and staying in school.


The Coroner Reserve Support Unit assists the Coroner Division in medicolegal death investigations. Unit members work side by side with Deputy Coroners conducting investigations on deaths occurring within the county which fall under coroner’s jurisdiction. These investigations can entail response to the scene of death, collection of evidence and personal property for safekeeping and analysis, interviewing subjects and ordering response by various technical specialists such as criminalists and photographers.

Requires general knowledge of:

  • Investigative principles and techniques
  • Techniques of investigative interviewing; use of scientific investigative equipment
  • Laws and rules of evidence
  • Laws pertaining to death and dead bodies
  • Criminal, civil and probate laws; physiology, anatomy, medical terminology and techniques used in general medicine or criminal or coroner's investigations
  • Prescribed drugs, both generic and name brands, poisons and other toxic elements and compounds
  • Medicine and its subspecialties and techniques
  • Methods of recognition, collection, preservation and analysis of medico-legal and/or criminal evidence

Ability to:

  • Analyze situations and take effective action; work effectively under unpleasant conditions
  • Deal effectively with attorneys, medical doctors, law enforcement officers and distraught persons
  • Prepare clear, concise reports and correspondence
  • Answer questions of law pertaining to death and dead bodies
  • Converse with professional medical personnel on a technical level

Harbor Patrol

The Harbor Patrol Reserve Unit supplements the Sheriff's Harbor Patrol activities in the three Orange County Harbors and Orange County coastline. The harbors include Dana Point, Newport Beach, and Sunset Harbor.  Harbor Patrol Reserves have the unique opportunity to train and work with regular deputies in all aspects of the job, including routine patrol, deckhanding on the fire boat, boater education and public relations, emergency response and a multitude of other  assignments.

Typical calls when on patrol or in the fire boat include vessels taking on water, boat fires, dead batteries, boat tows, vessels adrift, speeding, hazardous materials releases, and boating accidents. Unit members serve in number of activities not found in routine landside patrol, including:

  • Marine firefighting
  • Marine navigation using charts, loran and GPS, radar, and RDF
  • Hazardous materials events
  • County, City, and State enforcement codes
  • Boat handling and Deckhand Skills
  • Oxygen administration and first aid
  • Dive team

Many seasoned Reserves often transfer into the Harbor for a change of scenery and an opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful harbors and coastline the state has to offer. Whether you are educating boaters on the fundamentals of safe boating or assisting in a Medi-Vac to US Coast Guard Helicopter, you will be sure to enjoy the professionalism and camaraderie this unit has to offer.

Technology and Creative Services

Members of this unit include individuals who are highly specialized in technology and are recognized as industry experts as well as professionals in creative services. Members have a wide variety of expertise in videography, still photography, database design, website development, Internet Safety presentations and assistance with computer crimes when called upon. Specialized talents include graphic artists, specialized publications and public service announcements. There is active participation with the Orange County RACES program for emergency communications and act as the public relations arm for the Reserve Bureau. Unit members are deployed within the county to supplement deputies in field operations and during natural disasters. The team members donate their time and expertise to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department free of charge and is strictly on a volunteer basis.

We are seeking people with expertise in:

  • Architecture
  • Computer Graphics
  • Copywriting
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Database Design & Programming
  • Drafting
  • Engineering
  • Graphic Design
  • Graphic Displays
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Printing
  • Video Production
  • Web Design & Development


Members of the Investigative Reserve Unit assist regular investigators assigned to sex crimes, economic crimes, and general investigations . Training classes are available through the Sheriff's Department and outside organizations.

Search & Rescue

The Search & Rescue Reserve Unit is comprised of sworn (Level I, II & III) deputies and non-sworn civilian Professional Services Responder (PSRs) members. The unit is responsible for managing urban and wilderness searches for missing persons, and supporting the safe detection and apprehension of fleeing suspects. The unit has formal agreements for mutual aid with the California Emergency Management Agency, the US Forest Service's Cleveland National Forest, and many other local agencies.

Assignments within the unit are based upon the level of training the unit member has completed.   Members are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and are expected to call a designated information line upon receiving department pages.

Squad Assignments

K-9 Operations/Bloodhound Squad

The Bloodhound Squad is comprised of specially trained members who work very closely with the unit's bloodhounds on a variety of search-related calls. The dogs are highly trained to detect and trail trace scents over long distances. The squad is the most active of all the unit members, due to the high volume of calls for assistance from the department and also assisting other agencies.  Squad members must be in good physical condition, as the dogs frequently trail in a running mode for several miles.

Land Operations Squad

The members of the Land Operations Squad conduct basic land-based search operations.  They are trained to operate in urban, suburban and wilderness environments.

Technical Search Squad

The Technical Search Squad is comprised of sworn deputies and PSR members who utilize various types of technical equipment to conduct specialized searches for persons or evidence. Technical equipment includes metal detectors, night vision goggles (NVGs), night scopes, sound enhancement devices, electronic transmitter locators (ELTs) to locate missing person and trapped person locators (TPLs) to located live victims in building and structure collapses.

Technical Rescue Squad

The Technical Rescue Squad is tasked with the responsibility of conducting rescues and recoveries in hard-to-access areas. Most frequently these areas are mountainous and require the use of ropes and specialized equipment which when combined form "technical rescue systems". Technical Rescue Squad members must be in excellent physical condition, comfortable with heights, be team-oriented and must successfully complete a thorough training regimen that spans all of the rescue skills necessary to participate in a technical rescue mission.

Medical Squad

The Medical Squad is comprised of those members with advanced medical training. Members include doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other medical professionals. The unit provides emergency medical and triage services at incidents.

Command Support Squad

The Command Support Squad provides on-site staffing of the command post.  The members of this squad are trained in the use of the command post equipment, tracking software and other specialty equipment as well as the communication functions.

Logistics Squad

The members of the Logistics Squad maintain all the unit equipment and vehicles so they are available for emergency incidents and training exercises.

Off Road Enforcement Team

The Off Road Enforcement Team is comprised of reserve deputies who utilize off-road 4-wheel drive vehicles to provide patrol support in hard-to-access areas of Orange County.


Each member of the Search & Rescue Reserve Unit must maintain up to date and proficient with all department required training, including Continuing Professional Training (CPT) as well as the following:

  • CPR/First Aid
  • AED (Automatic External Defibrillator)
  • NIMS 100 & 700
  • SAR Technician II - National Association of Search & Rescue (or equivalent)
  • Rescue Systems I - State Fire Marshal (or equivalent)

Members must also attend monthly training to maintain their skills. Training is normally held the first Sunday morning of each month, at a location announced.

Uniform Patrol

Uniform Patrol Reserve Unit (UPRU) members are sworn peace officers. They are required to be proficient and knowledgeable of the California Penal Code, Laws of Arrest and the Orange County Sheriff's Department Field Operations Manual (FOM).

The Uniform Patrol Reserve Unit provides support to the Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol operations.

Unit members are called upon to act as second officers in a patrol car, perform crowd/riot control, maintain crime scene security, perform foot patrol and/or traffic control at special functions such as the Orange County Fair and the San Juan Capistrano Swallow's Day Parade.

UPRU members are assigned to various law enforcement duties, depending on the individual member's training and qualifications. Training is offered through the Sheriff's Department and its affiliation with Santa Ana Community College. All reserve deputies are expected to continue their training beyond the basic knowledge and skills required for initial Level III and II Academies. The reserve deputy, like the regular full-time deputy, is required to maintain arrest and control proficiency in non-lethal force techniques, including pepper spray and baton training. They are required to maintain a high level of physical fitness, as it is not unusual for a deputy to become involved in a foot pursuit or to be required to make a forcible arrest. Before being sworn as a reserve deputy, the applicant is required to successfully complete the P.C. 832 course laws of arrest and firearm training, Level III and Level II Academy, which will require a minimum of 362 hours on a part time basis.