Reserve Deputy Unit

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The Missoula County Sheriff Reserve Deputy Unit consists of up to 50 individuals who volunteer their time and energy to serve Missoula County. 

Reserves supplement the force of deputies by performing routine patrol duties, as well as providing additional officers for special events and extraordinary incidents.

Candidates undergo a rigorous selection process and are required to complete state-mandated training prior to being sworn in as reserve deputies. They wear the same uniform and have the same arrest power as deputy sheriffs while on duty.

Mission Statement:

We are committed to a partnership with the residents and visitors to Missoula County. We will deliver quality service emphasizing integrity, professionalism, and community interaction for the betterment of all.

Our Reserve Deputy Unit is invaluable to the Missoula County Sheriff's Office in the services they provide to all residents and visitors to our county.

The Position

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office offers qualified men and women an interesting and challenging experience as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. This volunteer position does not require a law enforcement background, but more importantly, the willingness and ability to serve our community in a very unique way.

Reserve Deputies volunteer their services to the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, however, they are sworn officers entrusted with the same power and authority to perform law enforcement functions as regular full-time deputies, once training requirements are met.  

Reserve deputies are trained to assist regular deputies with routine patrol assignments and to perform various functions during situations such as disaster, civil defense and weather-related emergencies. In addition, Reserves are often asked to provide security for special community events including fairs, parades, athletic events, concerts and youth programs.

Requirements  (found at 7-32-213 MCA)

Applicants will complete a written application, undergo aptitude testing and be reviewed by an oral interview board.

  • Age: State law dictates that applicants must be at least 18 years old. We do not accept applicants younger than 21 years of age.
  • Education: Must have high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Residency: Must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of the State of Montana for at least one year, and a resident of Missoula County for at least six months prior to appointment.
  • Drivers Licence: Must possess a valid Montana drivers license.
  • Background: Must be of good moral character as verified by fingerprint check and thorough background investigation.
  • Physical Condition: Must be examined by a licensed physician within 30 days immediately preceding the date of appointment and pronounced in good physical condition.



Reserve Deputy training is of the highest caliber in law enforcement.

More than 180 hours of academic presentation (exceeding that required by State law) and practical, hands-on instruction are designed to impart the knowledge required of law enforcement officers. This ensures the trainee is fully capable of performing the duties of the position. Training is held January through June of each year, with emphasis on officer safety and patrol work policy and procedure. Each Reserve Deputy is observed, counseled and evaluated to determine his or her readiness to assist the regular members of the Sheriff's Office in various law enforcement assignments.

Training opportunities continue to be made available throughout the Reserve Deputy's career.


How to Apply

Applications are available from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, located on the second floor of the Missoula County Courthouse Annex. Our address is 200 West Broadway Street, Missoula, Montana 59802. You can also download the application  electronically and bring it into our office.  Please note, the application deadline is September 30th of each year. 

Please complete the application in its entirety. It will then be reviewed by the MCSO Reserve Deputy Coordinator and the Executive Board of the Reserve Deputy Unit.

Candidates will be required to pass a aptitude test, a physical agility and endurance test, and an oral interview. An extensive background check is also conducted on qualified candidates.

Exams and interviews are generally scheduled in the fall and new members are accepted in January. The basic training program can last between six months to a year.

Further information is available and questions may be answered by contacting the Missoula County Sheriff's Department Reserve Deputy Coordinator at (406) 258-4810.

 To see the full list of requirements, review this document. This document is also available in Microsoft Word.

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