WATERTOWN, S.D. One county sheriff is looking for a few good men and women to expand the force. They won't be full-time deputies but instead, members of Codington County's Deputy Reserve program.
It recently got the go-ahead from county commissioners and authorization from the South Dakota Law Enforcement Center.
Adding the program takes some time to figure out budgeting for equipment like a bulletproof vest and gun, but it's all worth it to Sheriff Brad Howell. He started his law enforcement career as a deputy reserve and can't wait to show its benefits to the community.
"Where people from the community can come in and serve in a different fashion than maybe a volunteer fire department or Codington County Search and Rescue. Just another avenue where people can come and serve," Sheriff Howell said.
The program's recruits will have to go through a minimum 100 hours of training with a variety of duties.
"Serving papers, might be assisting in the jail with an inmate transport, might be helping out security in the courts, of course there's the every day patrols being out assisting the full time deputies on patrol," Sheriff Howell.
Minnehaha County deputy reserves enjoy the excitement each shift brings.
"It's not a humdrum, same thing every day. It's anything from looking for a lost child to a domestic dispute, you always have to be on your toes and be ready to take what comes along," Minnehaha County Deputy Reserve Sergeant Brad Hazelrigg said.
The program is a great step for those interested in law enforcement.
"We've put probably between 50-60 people in full time positions through this with the experience of that," Minnehaha County Emergency Management Assistant Director Doug Blomker said.
A second set of eyes for law enforcement officials can be helpful in serious situations.
"All of those special duties and extra assignments that take additional officers, they're able to not have to force and hire back officers maybe in some situations," Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.
Applications for the deputy reserve program are expected to be available in March. They can be found at the Department of Labor in Codington County or the sheriff's office.
More information can be found at the links to the right of the article.