Retiring From the Reserve Corps

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of The Rotator, written by Jim McLaughlin after he had completed the retirement process. With the recent increase in the number of retirements, we are printing an updated version, with the help of Reserve Officer Eric Rose, who retired in October, and Gloria Grube, retired Police Administrator III and LAPRF Board member.

Simple Steps to “Honorably Retired”

Retiring from Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is a big change. We understand that the process can seem complicated at times. We assure you that transitioning is not difficult. Applying for, and ultimately being granted, a reserve officer service retirement doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process. Informed choices and careful planning can favorably impact the journey, as well as the destination.

Remember, plan ahead! Don’t walk in and expect to retire the same day as your first appointment with Personnel Division. There are certain things you are eligible for along the way. The qualification for “honorable retirement” from the LAPD is a minimum of over 20 years of service in any sworn category — Level I, II or III in “good standing.” Each level of reserve police officer differs slightly after that point.

When you decide that you are ready to retire, follow these steps:

Step 1: Speak to your reserve coordinator, informing them of your intent to retire. They will coordinate a meeting with you and your divisional commanding officer for an exit interview. At this meeting, you will fill out and present your Resignation Form (1.50.00). The completed form will be presented to the C/O and will be signed by both of you. You will take it with you to your meeting with the retirement counselor.

Step 2: Make the two appointments that are necessary with the Personnel Division retirement counselor, on the second floor of PAB (contact info is listed above). Prior to the first appointment, they will tell you what you need to bring with you to turn in, as per the Property Clearance Form. Basically, it includes the following: ID card, badge, flat badge (if you have one), cap piece, OC spray, 999 key if you still have one and, depending on your level, duty weapon (unloaded and cleared), body armor, ballistic helmet, OFAK kit (first aid) and baton/PR24. Do not turn in equipment at your division or Piper Tech equipment office before your first appointment with the retirement counselor. During this appointment, you will complete required forms and receive information. The counselor will give you the exact list for each level of reserve to be turned in following your first appointment. You don’t need an appointment with Piper Tech if you are just turning in your equipment; just go during normal business hours.

Bring your checkbook. For Level I reserves, they will charge you for cleaning your old badge and putting the “Honorably Retired” rocker on the badge. If you want, you can also purchase an identical flat badge with a carry case. For Level I, they will take the serial number from your duty weapon and offer it to you for purchase, with instructions on how to pay for your weapon at the Salvage Desk at Piper Tech. (Note that they only take exact cash for the duty weapon.) You must make an appointment. Appointments can be scheduled Tuesday or Thursday between 0900 to1200 hours. Salvage is located in Piper Tech, basement level. The phone number is (213) 473-8200.

For Levels II and III, you will also need your checkbook. They will offer you your badge encased in Lucite.

Level I will receive a Retired ID card with “CCW Approved.” You will be given a copy of Administrative Order 6 dated June 22, 2011, on how to qualify for LEOSA (H.R. 218). Levels II and III will receive a Retired ID card with “CCW Restricted.” CCW laws vary by state, county and municipality. Whether you were authorized to carry a firearm while on duty may be a factor, depending on the jurisdiction and their CCW requirements. Federal law can also change, so it’s good to stay informed on the issue.

Step 3: Turn in the required items to Piper Tech; they will confirm those items were issued to you and sign off on the form. You can walk next door to the Salvage Department to purchase your weapon (remember, exact change, cash only).

Step 4: Go to your second appointment with the retirement counselor. Present your signed paperwork receipt (Property Clearance Form). Make an extra copy of everything just in case. Their office will walk you through the whole process; they are very cordial and helpful.

At some point, the divisional C/O office should send out advisory letters that mark your years of service and pending retirement. Over time, you should receive several letters of appreciation recognizing your service as a Los Angeles reserve police officer — nice items that your family will appreciate. Usually, they will be delivered to your division of assignment. It might be a good idea to bring this up during your exit interview with your C/O.

You can also get a Letter of Appreciation from the Los Angeles City Council or Mayor’s Office. In some cases, there is a City Proclamation, which is very nice. You can ask your reserve coordinator how to obtain those documents.

One more thing: Advise the downtown Reserve Unit that you are retiring. This is a courtesy call and it can save time for their staff in recordkeeping.

That is the entire process. Once you have completed all your steps, you just have to sit back in that big new recliner and enjoy.