Reserve Deputy Program

Many Reserve Deputies go on to become full time law enforcement officers after discovering what a rewarding experience it is to serve their community.

Reserves are classified as basic, intermediate or advanced depending upon training, experience and other qualifying factors.

Reserve Deputy Sheriff Qualifications:

  • United States citizenship.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must possess a high school diploma or GED.
  • Physical Examination.  All law enforcement officers and applicants must be examined by a licensed physician or surgeon and be in excellent mental and physical health.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has determined that there are some past and present behaviors that will determine that an applicant is not desirable for our agency.  Applicants who have past or current behavior as listed below will not be considered for employment:

  • Alcohol Use – current alcohol abuse is prohibited.
  • Drug Use – current or recent use of illegal drugs or abuse of any legal drug is prohibited.  Marijuana use in the last 5 years disqualifies an applicant.  Any illegal drug use (with the exception of the marijuana use as mentioned above) in a person’s lifetime, including but not limited to: narcotics, stimulants, cannabis, hallucinogens, amphetamines, depressants, steroids, designer drugs, and inhalants disqualifies an applicant from further consideration.
  • Discharge from Another Agency – Being discharged from another agency (probationary or for cause) within the last three years.
  • Felony Criminal Activity – any conviction of a felony and the commission of a serious detected or undetected felony.
  • Domestic Violence – any conviction of a crime involving domestic violence.
  • Controlled Substance – conviction for possession or manufacturing of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.
  • Traffic/Driving – inability to be insured to drive a motor vehicle, failure to possess a valid driver’s license, and inability to be licensed to drive a motor vehicle.
  • Government – membership or participation in any organization advocating the violent overthrow of the government of the United States.
  • Discrepancies – misrepresentation, misinformation, misleading, inaccurate, untruthful, or distorted information provided on the Background Questionnaire or during any part of the selection process.
  • Appointments – failure to keep an appointment at any step of the hiring process without the prior approval of the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Selection – failure to pass any step of the selection process or meet the minimum standards of the position.
  • Change – failure to notify the office of a change in current address and/or telephone number.
  • Moral – the applicant must be of good moral character and behavior.
  • Other – behaviors which do not necessarily reach the level of severity of the dis-qualifiers listed above, but may still be a basis for rejection after consideration of each case on its individual merits.

Selection Process
This process is designed to identify applicants who possess the ability and integrity required to be a law enforcement officer with our agency.

  • Pre-Screen Interview – An interview to determine if an applicant is likely to fail a background.  This process helps to screen out any immediately disqualifying factors that an applicant may have.
  • MPAT (Montana Physical Agility Testing) – A ¼ mile obstacle course consisting of running, jumping, crawling, climbing, falling, balancing, dragging, pushing and pulling.  This course simulates chasing a suspect, the struggle with a suspect, and the carrying of the suspect.  The course must be completed in a time of 6 minutes and 30 seconds or less.
  • Written Exam – Reading, writing, and math exercises.
  • Oral Board Interview and Typing Test
  • Thorough Background Investigation
  • Interview with Sheriff or Designee
  • Psychological Examination
  • Physical Examination

Reserve Deputy Sheriff Training
Upon appointment, reserve deputies will work with the Reserve Deputy Coordinator and other full time deputies on the department, to ensure they receive proper training in use of force, firearms, defensive tactics, Montana law and all other aspects of the job.

If you are interested in becoming a Flathead County Reserve Sheriff Deputy, you will work with other deputies who have made it through this intensive hiring and training process.  This ensures that your co-workers are highly competent, responsible, and equally invested in the community you serve.

How Do I Apply? 

If you would like more information on the reserve deputy program, please contact the Reserve Coordinator Deputy Charles Pesola at

Deputy Charles Pesola
Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
920 South Main Street, Suite 100
Kalispell, MT 59901