Investigators said Joshua P. Christensen, 26, hit a motorcyclist head on just south of Wheatland, California last week. Wheatland is north of Sacramento.
Christensen was on military leave from the Durham PD at the time. He's an Air Force reservist with the 940th Security Forces Squadron at Beale Air Force Base.
Christensen is charged with vehicular manslaughter.
The Durham Police Department said it defines recruits as officers with less than 12-18 months of experience on the job.