SCMPD begins reserve police officer program - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah begins reserve police officer program

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Calling all retired police officers, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police want you back. The city is opening up it's brand new reserve program as the force looks to expand at low cost. 

Similar to the military, the city is looking for certified officers who are looking to work for free, serve the community, and in their words, take advantage of some law enforcement opportunities.

City officials say they want the police department to take advantage of skilled officers who may want to work a limited schedule, may be bored with retirement, and in the reserve program  would work a minimum of 30 hours a month. In essence, they would supplement the existing force.

Right now, one officer is working in a reserve capacity according to Alderman Van Johnson. He says retired Sgt. Pete Leopold is back as the lone reserve officer at the moment with more than 30 applications being reviewed. 

"The cost of this is minimal, limited really to equipment that the city still retains," Johnson told WTOC. "More importantly, we have experienced law enforcement officers out on the streets, in critical areas and at special events. I think it is a great community initiative, a great ambassadorship and I am glad we are finally doing it."

Van Johnson says he's been pushing for a police reserve program for three years and now all the pieces have come together. The officers will still have arrest powers like any other officer, they can do anything officers can do. However, they are not paid.

Reserve officers can, however, work off duty like full-time officers, and get compensated by businesses who use their services.

Eventually, Johnson says the reserve program will expand to include other former officers, and does include background checks, certification and other standard required checks.

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