I am a level 1 reservist because of prior LE time (it takes over 400 hours) , thank God the post academy requirement was waived because of prior experience! You have to find a dept. home to get a badge and right to carry. I had good luck with small towns where I knew local officials
.I actually make a few dollars now and again covering vacations ect.
I am also a Volunteer in the local sherrif's dept. .
The way a newbie does it in Calif is take the level 1 thru 3 training in a junior college and sign on in a Department as a level 3 for a year or so until the dept. sends you to POST academy or trains you in house.