The status of reserve or "special" or auxillary officers or deputies varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and state to state.
Lots of smaller towns fill in the schedule with part time police officers, who are fully sworn officers (many work fulltime someplace else) who work a couple of days (or more) a month, but that's NOT the same thing.
Sheriff's Departments often have a "Sheriff's Posse" or Search & Rescue Team who may or may not have arrest authority or be armed.
Some states are very organized in how they run reserve police officer programs, with varying levels of Reserve Officer based on training & experience. (I believe California is one of those states).
You should check with your local Sheriff's Office and see what kind of program they run.
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!