The Reserve Division of the Phoenix Police Department has been around for more than 50 years. However, with a staffing crisis among the city's officers, they may need more volunteers now than ever before.
Plus, the department wants to make sure Valley residents understand exactly what those involved in the division would have the opportunity to do as an officer in the program.
"You will not know the difference between the two of us," explained Reserve Officer Jordan Crump. "I can do everything that a police officer does."
Officer Crump has been a member of the reserve division for about three years. Just like all the others, he received the exact same training that any 'real' officer gets before hitting the streets. The only difference is that Officer Crump is a volunteer and does not get paid.
"People will ask me, well 'What do they make?' said Officer Scott Stout, who operates the Reserve Department as a recruit training officer. "And I say - 'They make a difference, what do you make?'"
In fact, Officer Crump can do everything and everything a paid officer does do - like make arrests, go on calls and write reports.
Reserve officers can also get involved in other departments, like homicide investigations, the Air Support Unit and SWAT.
Officer Crump told ABC15, he grew up in the Valley in a law enforcement family. Even though he has a Monday through Friday 'normal' job, he wanted to give back and serve the community.
"If I can lighten the load a little bit, take a couple calls for them... make some back-ups; I know that they appreciate the work that we're doing," Officer Crump said.
This is especially important in a time like today - when they are struggling with staffing.
"That one extra body - being as understaffed as we are right now and what the city has went through to try and keep public safety at a maximum - just to have that extra body there to make a back-up is critical," said Officer Stout, referencing the recent reallocation of 169 officers to patrol duty as the department deals with a shortage of several hundred officers.
Officer Stout also said the program is different depending on those involved. Some simply want to volunteer and will do so for 20, 30 even 40 years. Others use the reserve officer program as a way to see if they want to become a paid officer.
Right now, there are roughly 115 reserve officers in the field. But, the department wants to more than double that number to 300.
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