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Richmond County sheriff's office adds reserves to boost manpower

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Richmond County will soon join surrounding counties by establishing a reserve deputy program.

Aiken and Columbia counties have been using reserves for at least 15 years.

“It’s a win-win for us,” Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said of the decision.

The option had been explored in years past, but liability was always a concern, according to Sheriff Ronnie Strength. However, after much research, the sheriff decided it was an option that would solve several issues.

“With the budget crunch, we were looking at options that would help us with manpower without hiring any additional officers,” Strength said. “This is now an option at no additional cost to the taxpayers.”

Strength said the additional manpower will put more officers in high crime areas to help answer the 252,000 calls the sheriff's office receives every year. It will also help in handling special functions that require additional officers.

The sheriff’s office has started recruiting a new team of reserves and is looking to get things running as soon as possible.

All reserves are required to be Georgia Peace Offi­cer Standard and Training certified and volunteer with the sheriff’s office for at least 30 hours per month.

The reserves will have the same requirements and legal authority as full-time sworn officers but will volunteer for free.

Training expenses will not be covered by the sheriff’s office.

“What we’re looking at are people who have already been in law enforcement who, for whatever reason, are (working elsewhere now) and miss the camaraderie,” Gay said. “We think those people would be a valuable asset to reducing the amount of crime that is occurring and supplementing our folks in the field.”

Those interested in the position can fill out an application at the sheriff’s office at 401 Walton Way.

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bclicious
833
Points
bclicious 09/03/11 - 11:40 pm
0
0
This is great! I guess this

This is great!

I guess this program will prove once and for all whether or not the citizens of Augusta Richmond County are part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Let's see how many attempt to sign up.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/04/11 - 12:03 am
0
0
"“What we’re looking at are

"“What we’re looking at are people who have already been in law enforcement who, for whatever reason, are (working elsewhere now) and miss the camaraderie,”

This limits that citizen partciipation.

bclicious
833
Points
bclicious 09/04/11 - 02:23 am
0
0
I think the reserve program

I think the reserve program is a necessary evil. Furthermore, in reference to VITO45's comments; I understand that RCSO is focusing on people who already in law enforcement; however, you should look at CCSO's program to better understand where I am coming from. At CCSO, you can enroll in the part-time deputy program, and attend the part-time law enforcement academy even if you do not have any experience whatsoever.

Don't kid yourself VITO45, if the citizens of Augusta are committed to helping the police, they will consider putting themselves through the program, and start becoming part of the solution. Otherwise, the citizens of Augusta should never ever complain about RCSO again.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 09/04/11 - 02:46 am
0
0
MyFather15, you are trying to

MyFather15, you are trying to mix reserves into county problems. And yes, it does sound bad coming from a deputy who should care primarily about reducing crime within the community not the politics of it.

Frankly, you can NEVER have enough police officers. Excellent reserve programs exist in Aiken, SC, Columbia County, GA, within the NYPD, LAPD and departments all over the county.

I don't disagree with you that this county treats is deputies pathetically. The salaries are deplorable and the benefits are non-existent. There is no additional pay for training, the call volume is high, and support from the commissioners is a joke. The cutting of 41 deputies over the past few years is deplorable and the furlough days have greatly hurt the community as a whole.

RC should have enough full time deputies as set by national standards. From there, reserves are a great addition. Although some reserves may, as you say, go to the academy to help out, etc. many are former full time law enforcement officers who have pursued other careers but still love to serve and protect and truly serve their community. Reserves bring about a different opinion and often a different approach to law enforcement which can greatly benefit full time law enforcement officers and the community as a whole.

There are volunteer teachers, firefighters, doctors, etc. so as long as they have the same level of training and desire to serve, the fact that they do it for free should be of no concern. If anything, the fact that many do it for free is exactly what makes them so good at what they do because they are passionate about their work. You also have retired police officers who have years of experience but don't wish to serve full time anymore that often are a great addition to various divisions within an agency.

This is an excellent program for Richmond County and will augment the full time staff. Reserves do not take over full time shifts or in any way, shape or form allow for the removal of full time positions. Reserves generally work 30-40 hours a month, not 160-172 hours as do full time personnel and are placed in areas to help the full time deputies. They aren't there looking to take a job from a deputy but to serve their community.

Deputies with an open mind will come to greatly appreciate all that reserves can do for a department and the community. They often help to foster a greater appreciation for law enforcement in the communities of which they serve which in turn helps all police officers.

It is great that Sheriff Strength is implementing this program in Richmond County.

Craig Spinks
819
Points
Craig Spinks 09/04/11 - 04:47 am
0
0
What's the maximum

What's the maximum eligibility age?

RCSD deputies need reinforcements both in the form of a large number paid colleagues who allow improvements such as two-man patrols in high-crime areas and in the form of unpaid reserves many of whom might contribute in ways no more complex than in keeping-an-eye-on-their-neighborhoods and by keeping 706-821-1040 on speed-dial or in one's quick-recall memory.

augustarookie
301
Points
augustarookie 09/04/11 - 06:10 am
0
0
I suppose these new reserves

I suppose these new reserves will be allowed to work extra jobs to offset getting no pay?

SCyankee
0
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SCyankee 09/04/11 - 08:37 am
0
0
Good luck!
Unpublished

Good luck!

Waymore
114
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Waymore 09/04/11 - 11:19 am
0
0
“What we’re looking at are

“What we’re looking at are people who have already been in law enforcement who, for whatever reason, are (working elsewhere now) and miss the camaraderie."

I miss the camaraderie, but not being treated like dirt. I wonder how many former RC officers, who left for better working conditions, and not necessarily money and benefits, would come back to be treated like dirt for free.

Brad Owens
5223
Points
Brad Owens 09/04/11 - 11:21 am
0
0
Good move and one I have been

Good move and one I have been shouting for many years.

CCSD has had them since the early 90's and it has always been a winner.

Former military can use the GI BILL to pay for the course because it is tech training and it is a great way to beef up the SO while saving bucks.

Long overdue and glad that it is going to happen.

Brad

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/04/11 - 11:30 am
0
0
There should be a way to

There should be a way to involve retirement age citizens that are still active too. I don't imagine they would be much help in a foot chase, but their presence alone as a second set of eyes and backup in traffic stops would be a great help.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/04/11 - 11:32 am
0
0
Waymore!! Didn't know you

Waymore!! Didn't know you left RCSO.

Riverman1
111602
Points
Riverman1 09/04/11 - 01:27 pm
0
0
Just tell the reserve

Just tell the reserve deputies not to shot any dogs when they are serving warrants. Seriously, I understand the concerns of officers about these reserves working for free, but something has to be done. It will help build the community policing concept. Go for it.

OIC
27
Points
OIC 09/04/11 - 01:43 pm
0
0
Richmond County does not need

Richmond County does not need a reserve deputy program. We need to look at redistributing our manpower assets. I know for a fact that the Sheriff's Office eliminated certain practices it would free up the road deputies so that they could perform law enforcement activities. Why are we still answering calls for service for animal control related issues. Why are we still answering calls to problem alarms (businesses, schools and residences). Why on earth is the Sheriff's Office doing house checks. If every citizen in Richmond County were to place his house on a house watch then we would not be able to answer calls. Why are we still answering calls for non-criminal issues. I thought the Sheriff's Office was going to implement a call taker program.

Waymore
114
Points
Waymore 09/04/11 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Right on the mark,

Right on the mark, OIC...there are other things as well, but no one cares. No one will listen to ideas. No one will think outside of the box. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." You can't police in 2011 like you did in 1971 or 1981. I always wondered why the Marshal's Dept. didn't respond to "civil matters" (or why a patrol car was sent in the first place, calls like that could be referred to civil court), or why the police had to be sent to respond to animal control issues (where there was no violent disturbance), or why the Sheriff's Dept. handles false alarm after false alarm at the same location over and over again, or why road deputies get tied up transporting people to YDC, RYDC, Central State, etc. or why other divisions within the Sheriff's Dept. didn't have to handle things that they came up upon. There are enough officers to handle things, IF they were utilized properly.

SCyankee
0
Points
SCyankee 09/04/11 - 04:03 pm
0
0
I certainly hope they do some
Unpublished

I certainly hope they do some good background checks on any potential candidates. They will attract nothing but the bottom of the barrel I'm afraid. They do need the extra manpower, but I can't envision anyone of much quality wanting to work there for free.

tango123
0
Points
tango123 09/04/11 - 05:36 pm
0
0
As a former Deputy with the

As a former Deputy with the RCSO, I would love to volunteer my time In community policing, specially in some areas in need in Richmond County. I think this program if run well can be an effective tool to deter crime in Augusta.

dizzy dictator
109
Points
dizzy dictator 09/04/11 - 10:38 pm
0
0
I agree with everything

I agree with everything myfather15 and Waymore said. The rest is utter nonsense. Our police should have the best pay and benefit package allowed, no furlough days, raises and treated like human beings. They risk their life every day trying to get a handle on the thugs in this city they deserve it. I know I appreciate it. Placing others to help out for free is not really a sure thing anyhow. I would think this would hurt the moral of our police officers even more. We talk about working free in this article and somehow I really believe there is more not being said like what another posted about would the reserve allowed to work extra jobs. Sound like that can be a possibility which will take away from the existing officers working the extra jobs to offset their low pay. Come on people wake up! What is the real reason this hasn't been done before now if its such a great plan and other counties have been doing it for years? Didn't this come to mind before furlough days did? Augusta's way of thinking has gone down hill on so many levels of goverment!

Patty-P
3521
Points
Patty-P 09/05/11 - 12:40 am
0
0
I'd be glad to donate some

I'd be glad to donate some time working in my neighborhood.

Craig Spinks
819
Points
Craig Spinks 09/05/11 - 03:43 am
0
0
The A-RC commission has for

The A-RC commission has for its consideration issues much more important than public safety, generally, and the safety of the weak, the young, the old, the infirmed and the female, more specifically. The Tee Center, The Rip-off(not Ripken) Riverfront Entertainment Complex, The Patch, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin et al. are much more important issues than is reducing crime in our hometown.

cityman
-6
Points
cityman 09/05/11 - 04:51 am
0
0
The sheriff knows that this
Unpublished

The sheriff knows that this is nothing but hot air! If they were serious about adding reserve deputies he would train them! I am not holding my breath to see how many will volunteer who have "already been in law enforcement who, for whatever reason, are (working elsewhere now) and miss the camaraderie,” Yea, Right!

Joseph
0
Points
Joseph 09/05/11 - 01:57 pm
0
0
The sheriff's department

The sheriff's department recruited
Folks to help apprehend the deluded.
They all would be sworn
To uphold and forewarn
The criminals. Paycheck excluded.

AutumnLeaves
11468
Points
AutumnLeaves 09/05/11 - 11:52 pm
0
0
You nailed it Joseph. And I

You nailed it Joseph. And I also agree with Waymore and several of the posters that are like-minded. They need to treat the deputies they have waymorebetter!

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/06/11 - 12:39 pm
0
0
The pay was the main reason

The pay was the main reason why i couldn't follow my Grandfather, Brother, or even Nephew into law enforcement... We need to thank our deputies for their service just like we thank our soldiers because for a Deputy there is no flying out of the war zone back to home cause home IS the war zone. It does look like we are going to need these reserve deputies. Maybe 10 times more. If you're already on the force we are trying to get you more pay, you earned it. As for these desk jokes that are getting $10,000. a month before they'll have anything to do with U.S. they should be ashamed. Engineers and managers are a DIME A DOZEN. If you think it's a buyer’s market out there it sure nuff is a HIRERS MARKET. We can get BETTER managers and engineers for $5,000. a month and pay the rest to our cops WHO HAVE EARNED it.

Waymore
114
Points
Waymore 09/06/11 - 10:07 pm
0
0
It's not the money as much as

It's not the money as much as it is the treatment. No one gets into law enforcement expecting to get rich (if they do, they are pretty stupid). When you refuse to do the little things that would increase morale, and you refuse to listen to those doing the work - the ones in the street, the ones getting down and dirty investigating crimes, the ones getting the vermin off the street, etc. - then you get bad morale. It's the little things.

AutumnLeaves
11468
Points
AutumnLeaves 09/06/11 - 10:52 pm
0
0
A lot of those little things

A lot of those little things piling up lately. Glad you don't have to deal with them anymore, Waymore.

AutumnLeaves
11468
Points
AutumnLeaves 09/06/11 - 10:53 pm
0
0
BTW, is that the Vanderbilt

BTW, is that the Vanderbilt house, "The Biltmore" next to your screen name, Waymore?

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/07/11 - 09:33 pm
0
0
Brad Owens wrote; "Former

Brad Owens wrote;
"Former military can use the GI BILL to pay for the course because it is tech training and it is a great way to beef up the SO while saving bucks."

Pumps Federal bucks in too.

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