Alabaster plans for reserve police – Reserves to receive same training

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Alabaster City Council recently abolished and replaced parts of city code to establish a reserve police officer program.

The action was approved over the lone &uot;no&uot; vote of Councilmember Jerry Workman, who said he preferred non-APOSTC certified officers not be part of the program. The APOSTC designation refers to officers who have been through police academy training.

Workman explained that he did not think it was good idea to put a 19-year-old in a situation when not trained in the use of appropriate or deadly force.

Capt. Curtis Rigney of the Alabaster Police Department, who began his law enforcement career as a reserve officer with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said however, reserve police &uot;will receive the same training as regular officers.&uot;

He said the reserves must have a pistol permit and will have to qualify with their firearm.

While he said the reserves will not complete law enforcement academy, he also said they will not have arrest powers.

As to training in the use of force, Rigney said, once a reserve officer begins working with police officers, they will &uot;receive the same type training as a police officer.&uot;

As to reserves who have and have not been to the academy, Rigney said when a new full-time police officer begins, that person also has not had police academy training.

&uot;(The reserve program is) part of our community pride effort to get more citizens involved in the police department so people who have a interest in the police department get a first-hand view,&uot; Rigney said.

He said the program &uot;also helps as far as our manpower.&uot;

Rigney said a reserve provides a full-time officer with backup.

He said the reserve program is all-volunteer and confirmed there is no pay involved.

According to Rigney, both he and Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry started out as reserve officers with the Sheriff’s Office.

Included in the action taken by the Alabaster council, the police reserve force was established within the Police Department of the city.

The reserve force will include residents of Shelby County in good physical condition, good character and not less than 19 with appointments to the reserve force made by the chief of police for two-year terms … &uot;except that any member of the reserve force may be discharged without cause, and without hearing by the chief of police.&uot;

Also included in the action, APOSTC-certified reserve officers on active duty &uot;shall have the right to carry a concealed gun, to make arrests and otherwise perform the duties of a regular police officer.&uot;

Non-APOSTC certified reserves &uot;are to be considered reserve officers in training.&uot;

They &uot;may be authorized by the chief of police to carry firearms on duty and assist certified officers in making arrests.