St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office looking for Reserve Division deputies

Posted: February 6th, 2020 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags:

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office looking for Reserve Division deputies

Have you ever felt a calling to do something positive for your community that will make a difference? Are you looking for something to do in your spare time that you will find rewarding? If this sounds appealing, you may want to consider becoming a Reserve Division deputy with the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office.

Reserve Division deputies are unpaid, volunteer officers who donate thousands of hours of community service each year by supplementing the department’s paid police force in specific situations. They are fully-commissioned officers who have the same responsibilities and duties as paid patrol deputies and receive the same level of training.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said Reserve deputies play a vital role in the success of the Sheriff’s Office.

“We couldn’t do what we do so efficiently without the help of our Reserve Division deputies,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “They help us promote the safety and security of the residents of the parish.”

According to Lt. Eric Eilers, director of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Division who oversees the Reserve Division, Reserve deputies provide extra support for the Sheriff’s Office at various large-scale events such as festivals, parades and athletic events throughout the parish. They also perform extra patrols at local businesses during the busy holiday shopping season.

“In 2019, our Reserve Division deputies donated nearly 1,700 hours of their time to help keep St. Bernard safe,” Lt. Eilers said.

There are currently about two dozen Reserve Division deputies, and the department is looking for new applicants to expand the program.

To apply, a person must meet the following criteria:

-Live in St. Bernard Parish.
-Be at least 21 years old.
-Have earned a high school diploma or GED.
-Have a clean police record; background checks will be conducted.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the Reserve Division, or to obtain an application, contact Lt. Eilers at (504) 278-7628 or

Reserve deputies are not required to have a background in law enforcement; training is provided.

“Reserve deputies attend an 80-hour basic law enforcement in-service training course, twice a week for 10 weeks,” Lt. Eilers said. “They have the same authority as their regularly employed counterparts.”

Since the Reserve Division was formed more than 40 years ago, many Reserve deputies have found the work so rewarding they left private sector jobs to establish a career in law enforcement.

“Many have gone on to become full-time, paid officers, including me,” said Lt. Eilers, who began his career in law enforcement as a St. Bernard Reserve deputy in 1999 and was hired as a full-time paid deputy in 2010.

Fred Schmiderer, a Reserve deputy since 2015, works full-time as a restaurant manager, but said he enjoys being able to do something positive for his hometown in his spare time. He recommends it to anyone looking to make a difference.

“It’s a great way to meet a lot of interesting people and be involved in the community,” said Schmiderer, 52, a lifelong resident of St. Bernard. “I’ve had several family members who have worked in law enforcement over the years and it’s also a way I feel I can help them do what they do.”

If you’d like to join St. Bernard’s finest in “Keeping St. Bernard Safe,” give Lt. Eilers a call.