Knox City Police Chief Harold Smith submitted a request to add reserve officers to the police force at Wednesday morning’s Board of Works meeting.
He informed them, “Reserve officers are unpaid officers who volunteer their time to help their community and they must complete state-mandated training and continue training through the police department.”
Chief Smith shared that the use of reserve officers is pretty common, with several other agencies utilizing them including the Starke County and Marshall County Sheriff’s Departments and the Indianapolis Metro Police Department.
Smith also mentioned that he thinks implementing a reserve program at the Police Department will be financially beneficial.
“In 2016, the city paid out roughly $14,000 in overtime for the police and in 2017 that went up a little bit to about $18,000.” Smith explained, “My hope is once we get the reserve program up and going, we’ll cut that cost quite a bit”
He told members he is looking to add about six reserve officers and told them that the reserve officers would assist with fulltime officers with patrols, as well as school functions such as basketball and football games. He said the reserve officers would also be utilized at the park in the summertime to show a police presence in the area to deter any mischief.
He added that he spoke with the city’s insurance agent and was informed that since the Police Department has made very few claims, the insurance would be essentially unaffected if reserve officers were added.
Members unanimously approved of the idea and voted to permit Chief Smith to seek out reserve officers to add to the force. Smith added that he can bring any potential candidates before the board for their consideration if they request it.