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CPD restarts reserve officer program

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Clanton City Council is set to renew the Clanton Police Department’s reserve officer program.

Police Chief Erick Smitherman said the program can be a recruiting tool because it is a way to get to know people who may be interested in becoming police officers better than a simple job interview.

“We have always had a reserve program,” Smitherman said. “We have just not been very active with it the past couple years.”

Smitherman said he has confirmed everything needed with the insurance company to be able to make the program active again.

CPD has seven reserve officer spots.

“They are not A post certified,” Smitherman said. “They come out with the (certified) officer, it gives them someone else in the car with them, a backup, as well as a potential (hire) candidate for the future.”

Updates to the reserve officer handbook were submitted to the Clanton City Council for review. The document has already been reviewed by the city attorney.

“They basically have to meet all of the requirements that an officer meets,” Smitherman said.

Although they are not required to attend the Police Academy, reserve officers must be able to meet the qualifications required to attend.

Reserve officers “have no authority” when they are not on duty, Smitherman said.

Traditionally, reserve officers have had to pay for their own uniforms, but Clanton Mayor Jeff Mims and Council member Billy Singleton said it would be good if the city could cover the cost of the uniforms, since the individuals are volunteering their time. This is expected to be considered for a vote at the May 10 meeting.

A fundraiser is also being held to help raise funds for the reserve officer uniforms.

Mims asked how many reserve officers later become a certified police officer. Smitherman said it is hard to say, but about 50% of the applications CPD routinely receives are not A-Post certified.

Smitherman said the reserve program can help the department find young people that would be interested in becoming a certified police officer for Clanton and make it worth the city paying for them to go to the police academy.

Others who join a reserve program may do so just to be able to help their community.

Clanton Council members were given an updated version of the employee handbook to review before it is officially adopted.

Mims also presented an update on a number of projects that are in the works and some, including paving roads, that he is working on getting cost information for.

The council also received an update on uniforms from Smitherman and the maintenance/ water department.