Colo. city looking to reinstate its volunteer reserve police force
The goal of the reserve force is to address the department's officer shortage by recruiting volunteers
By Sarah Roebuck
AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora City Council voted 9-1 to advance a proposal that would reinstate its volunteer reserve police force, KMGH reports.
The Aurora Police Department had a reserve officer program up until the early 2000s, but after interest in the program dropped to nearly zero, it was disbanded. A section of code that authorized a reserve police force was also removed.
The program was reintroduced Monday. It will be composed of unpaid volunteers.
“This was a request brought forward by the police department to be able to revamp the tactical medic program for our SWAT team,” councilmember Danielle Jurinsky told KMGH.
City attorney Peter Schulte said in a city council meeting last week that medics assigned to work with the SWAT team often carry concealed weapons, which could put them and the city in potential legal jeopardy. Schulte said by allowing those medics to train and become part of a police force, it will provide them legal protections.
The goal of the reserve force is to address the department's officer shortage by recruiting volunteers.
The ordinance for the reserve force states the police chief may appoint "up to the number corresponding to 5% of the authorized sworn strength of the regular police department" as police reserve officers.
The Aurora Police Department currently has 680 sworn members, so there could be 30 appointed reserve officers.