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History of the Reserve Law Officers Association of America

2002 February 22

Where did RLOAA come from?

During the 1960s, a portion of a Texas law said that “no person shall carry a pistol on or about his person or in his saddlebags” unless that person was a Peace Officer. To be a Peace Officer a person would have to be paid $40 per month.

It was not until 1971 that the Legislature changed the law so that auxiliary and/or reserve law officers could operate as they do today.

That legislation was written by a group of volunteer law officers who banded together and formed what is now known as the Reserve Law Officers Association of America.

The Association experienced explosive growth all across America, and during the past 31 years has seen members enroll from 50 states and over 2,500 cities.

RLOAA Assists nationwide

On the national level in the U.S. Congress, RLOAA was able to get volunteer peace officers included in the Public Safety Officers’ Survivors Benefits Act of 1976 which provided the survivors of officers killed in line of duty with $50,000.00. More recently, in the 100th Congress, efforts were successful in getting the survivor benefit increased to $100,000.00.

  • In Louisiana, RLOAA wrote into state law a definition of a Reserve Law Enforcement Officer which resulted in getting volunteers included with the same survivor benefits as all other peace officers in the state.

  • In Iowa, RLOAA helped pass a good reserve law and establish minimum standards of training and education.

  • In Texas, as a result of RLOAA efforts, volunteers were included in the survivor benefits of $20,000.00 plus $100.00 to $200.00 a month for minor children.

  • In Missouri, RLOAA assistance got a law changed benefiting volunteers and helped provide additional pay benefits for full-time officers.

  • When a Bill was introduced in the Nebraska Senate which would have abolished all volunteer peace officers, RLOAA responded to the Sheriff in Omaha, stepped in, got the proposed law defeated, and then helped pass a good Bill providing training and education for Reserves, including funding.

  • In Utah, a similar attack on Reserves was repulsed and replaced by a good law providing for Reserves and their training.

Now in its 32nd year, this Association can look back and realize that when the concepts of volunteer law enforcement have been challenged, a loyal membership has rallied to the call. They joined hands with thousands of other volunteers to give this Association the mighty national clout necessary to change laws. This success has been possible only through the steadfast support of dedicated members who realize that only through this strong, national voice can we continue to improve law enforcement and keep a watchful eye on those who would thwart law and order.

Organized in January, 1970, RLOAA is a non-profit, fraternal organization, exempt from income taxes under 501(C)4 of the Internal Revenue Code. National Headquarters has been in San Antonio, Texas continuously since 1972. Purposes have not changed in 30 years of serving the interests of more than a third of a million American volunteer law officers.

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Click to return to: Home Page    Modified on 22 February 2002

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