Reserve Deputies

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Reserve Deputies are volunteers who serve in the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol Unit. Whether on water or on ice, the Water Patrol Unit is responsible for law enforcement, safety instruction, and promotion of safe boating and riding habits on the county’s lakes, rivers, and trails.

To prevent accidents and injuries and ensure compliance with state laws, the Water Patrol Unit proactively patrols the county’s waterways, parks, and trails, including 18 miles of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Using motor vehicles, boats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and snowmobiles, this unit responds to incidents on the water, conducts rescue efforts, and recovers victims of water related incidents. 

After receiving formal law enforcement training, Reserve Deputies work alongside members of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office to:

  • Patrol the parks, trails, lakes, and rivers of Ramsey County.
  • Assist during major events and activities (such as the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Fright Farm, and high school and college athletic events).
  • Provide traffic and crowd control.
  • Engage in crime prevention and community policing programs.
  • Represent the Sheriff’s Office at community events,  carnivals and parades.
  • Respond to emergency call outs.
  • Conduct water safety inspections.
  • Provide instruction and assistance for Department of Natural Resources (DNR) firearms, snowmobile and ATV youth training classes.


Reserve Deputy candidates must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Possess a valid Minnesota driver’s license and valid auto insurance.
  • Successfully complete a criminal history/background investigation.

Reserve Deputy candidates must also be able to swim, successfully complete the reserve deputy training program, volunteer a minimum of ten hours per month or 120 hours per year, and work in a variety of environmental conditions.


Applications are accepted on a continuing basis, when a sufficient number of successful applicants are available a training academy will be held.

Applications are available here. Contact Deputy David Wingate with any questions regarding the Reserve Deputy unit.