Reserve Police Officer Steve Fazio, recently elected to the board of the California Reserve Peace Officers Association (CRPOA), wrote to The Rotator:
“California is looking for a select group of law enforcement professionals: active, retired, reserves, to become part of a new state volunteer cadre. The California Military Department, State Guard (CSG) has been authorized by the governor to create a new unit called the Emergency Response Command (ERC).
“The ERC is an operational, non-combat force that works in tandem with the National Guard and local authorities to deploy and respond to natural and man-made disasters. We currently have a fire element called ‘Team Blaze,’ and we are building our law enforcement element called ‘Team Shield.’
“We are seeking individuals who have an interest in a career in law enforcement and prepare for the inevitable incident(s), such as earthquakes, fires, floods and other catastrophic incidents. Our mission is to augment local law enforcement agencies as these catastrophic events occur in our state.
“Our ‘Team Shield’ Unit has played a critical role in last year’s fires and civil unrest — it became clear that we need to build upon the base we currently have, and joining now is to get in on the ground floor.
“As incidents occur, local law enforcement can be overwhelmed as they endeavor to protect life and property, and our state recognizes the need to augment local jurisdictions and asks you to consider extending your service as law enforcement professionals to incidents that arise throughout our state.
“The training takes place one weekend a month; there is no age limit, and the physical portion of the application process is very pragmatic. This is a non-combat military unit that is a state asset and will not deploy overseas.
“It is a military unit that falls under the California military, so for individuals who would like to extend their military service or have always wanted to get involved in the military, this presents a very unique opportunity to bring your knowledge and skills to assist our state. Students can qualify for tuition reimbursement for state schools (CSU, UC system). Please share this link for further information: https://stateguard.cmd.ca.gov/public/emergency-response-command.