The Los Angeles Police Reserves Corps is comprised of community members who volunteer their time to fulfill many of the roles handled by full-time sworn police officers. Reserve officers receive the same training as full-time officers and work alongside them in every aspect of department operations.
The Los Angeles Police Reserve Corps has hundreds of active reserve officers and is the largest Police Department Reserve Unit in California. Accredited by the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), the Los Angeles Police Department’s Reserve officers are perhaps the finest in the nation.
The Los Angeles Police Department has reached out to the frum community as a group to join the LAPD Reserve Police. Rabbi Shmuel Newman, chaplain for the LAPD, helped arrange the meeting, the first of its kind designed to recruit from a religious or ethnic community.
On Thursday evening, 16 Adar I/February 25, about sixty people attended an informational meeting about the qualifications and commitment needed to become a Reserve LAPD Police officer. Lieutenant Darnell Davenport, Officer in Charge of Youth and Education Reserves, led the meeting and answered questions. Lieutenant Davenport stressed the seriousness of the job and the important function Jewish officers play in policing the Jewish community.
The group was surprised to find out that once they pass the training, they will be police officers. The difference is that reserve officers do not get paid and get to choose the area where they want to work, and they only serve a few shifts per month. The training is identical to that of full-time police officers.
One of the questions asked during the meeting was: Why is the LAPD so anxious to have frum Jews as reserve officers? The answer is that the LAPD feels that the needs of the frum community will better be served with cops who understand the community. Many are reluctant to involve the police when necessary, but they may be more willing to call if they know they can speak to a frum cop.
The group heard from Officer Gavriel Cohen, a frum member of the community and full-time LAPD officer. It was interesting to hear about how a frum Jew works as an LAPD officer in and outside the community. He told the group about the challenges of being a frum Jew and a full-time cop.
Officer Cohen said that every day is rewarding and that the positives of the job and greatly outweigh the negative ones.