Most every Police Dept. has a Reserve devision. some get paid, I think Los Gatos PD is one of them. Some give you a lot of flexibility on what you can do, such as the Santa Clara Sheriff's office (S.O.) and let go solo all the time. Some allow you to work pay-jobs which is where the real money is at, but many are pure volunteer positions. Some departments treat their Reserve's like dog ****, so be careful. Do a ride-a-long where you're interested and talk to those Reserves' they'll tell you what's up. Some give their Reserves CCW's and some don't. Some departments make you work with a regular officer each and every time, so lot's to consider.
Reserves don't work for the money, but for experience and the love of the job, forget the money part for now and find a department that treats their Reserves good and provides top notch training. Personally, I like how the S.O. treats their Reserves' it's one of the best programs that I know of and you get to work in the entire County and not you're not stuck in some tiny area. Personally, I say avoid small jurisdictions at all cost.
But first you must complete the Academy prior to applying, so after that hurdle, which could take up to a year, you'll be able to talk to lots of folks and find out what and where is the best fit for you. The good news is, once you have your P.O.S.T Certificate (Police Officers Standards & Training), you can lateral over full time and not have to go to the Academy again.
PM if you have any more specific questions.
Last edited by TripleThreat; 11-29-2012 at 10:45 PM..