Volunteer reserves fill gaps for suburban police

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 29, 2013 - 6:34 AM

With tight budgets, many metro-area cities turn to reserve officers -- and volunteers -- to assist with public safety and other duties.

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freedomallJan. 28, 1310:28 PM

Volunteer to keep the corrupt Police Force alive. They could care less about your safety, they only care about meeting their monthly quotas.. More tickets, less Middle Class.

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cman2500Jan. 28, 1310:40 PM

Question i have is why aren't these reserve officers armed ? Most states that have reserve officers carry weapons level 2 peace officers while on duty.The Minnesota nice will only get you so far until some thing bad happens ?

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hanssenJan. 28, 1310:45 PM

This Minnetonka Reserve Officer looks GREAT for 80 years old! He is in better shape than some cops half his age! Nice job, Reserve Officer Gerard!

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furry1Jan. 29, 13 7:15 AM

Reserve officers should't be armed unless they have the same level of training as sworn officers, not only firearms training but conflict resolution and other training that allow officers to resolve situations without resort to their weapons. They would also need to take background checks and psych evaluations to weed out the "wanna-be" cops who can't qualify for the force. The city would have to carry insurance and such in order to deal with the fact that someone who's not an actual police officer might end up shooting someone while volunteering their time for the city, and the volunteers should probably have arrest powers as well because any case where you have to threaten to use your gun is probably something someone is going to be arrested for. And if they're going to be possibly taking lives and arresting people, they really should be getting paid for that level of commitment and work. In short, all the legal and other factors that are involved with having volunteer cops carry guns mean that you might as well just hire more officers in the first place.

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jackpinesavJan. 29, 13 7:59 AM

Kudos to Billy and other volunteers for their great dedication. Phoenix area has volunteer Sheriff's Posse, all retirees, who do lots of administrative tasks, save taxpayers a tone of $$$, provide a productive service to keep them sharp and off the couch. With boomers coming, there is a huge potential pool of trained volunteers, with clear restrictions on limits of their authority. It works!

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cvalcitJan. 29, 13 9:40 AM

I have all the respect in the world for people willing to volunteer their time and energy. What worries me is the danger we are putting these people and the officers who depend on their efforts into. Wasn't a reserve officer involved with the Cold Spring officer killing? Might have a full time officer, instead of a reserve, being there prevented that man's tragic death? Budgets are one thing, officer's safety should be paramount.

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basia2186Jan. 29, 1310:50 AM

There are numerous public arenas volunteer's skills and generosity could be useful and appreciated. Not to mention saving taxpayers millions statewide. I live in Virginia, MN. Due to budget constraints there is now only one city clerk. I found a stray dog last year with a city license tag. Called the police as it was after hours in city hall. Police had no record of the dog,so they took the dog to the pound. My 2 dogs at home would not take kindly to a new dog. The next day I called the city of Va.. city clerk. She apologized profusely that she'd had no time to enter dog licenses for 6 months! I asked why students, required to do community service for a h.s.diploma couldn't help. She said no luck there, the union had to approve EVERY REQUEST FOR VOLUNTEER HELP. Public servants? I think not! The dog was reunited with his owner.

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wildcountryJan. 29, 1312:44 PM

How else are we going to afford more tax cuts for the top 1%?

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TerrypJan. 29, 1312:47 PM

I also appreciate people who volunteer their time. But in this case and many others, volunteers are really taking away good paying jobs - of no fault to the volunteer. We hear about the lack of "job creation" every day, and it seems to me that we have CUT too many jobs that pay a living wage. I don't know if we do tax payers any favors by cutting jobs to save money. People without jobs would rather be working and paying taxes. All the posts talk about the need for services and the need for people who provide those services, so let's pay them. Don't let Minnesota become a sad state of low pay and volunteers.

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lonstarJan. 31, 13 6:28 AM

Admiration for a true public servant - he's doing more for the public good than all the posts on all the comment boards in the world ever will. Not every duty with the PD requires a full-time POST-certified officer, but the crypto-Randian autarchists are ready to let this go too far, I think.

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