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New officers

Jacob Sanders, left, and Ben Eden, center, were sworn in during a June Vinton city council meeting by Mayor Bud Maynard, right. The pair join the city’s reserve officers to provide coverage to the city. Reserve officers donate a minimum of eight hours a month to the city.

VINTON — Two additional reserve officers joined the ranks of the Vinton Police department (VPD) in June when Mayor Bud Maynard officiated the ceremony. Ben Eden and Jacob Sanders brings the city’s number of reserve officers to seven.

“The official authorized strength of the reserve unit is 10,” Captain Eric Dickinson, explained. The city has not actually reached that number because of the higher hiring and training standards compared to other forces.

Reserve officers are required to donate a minimum of eight hours a month to the department. Typically, Dickinson explained, they will receive only a one dollar per year. The department re-organized the reserve unit to its current configuration in 2015 and its members have since donated hundreds of hours to the city.

Reserve officers are a great resource for the force providing extra coverage particularly during special events or operations, however “we prefer to use part-time officers who are fully ILEA trained regular officers or full-time officers to fill open shifts,” Dickinson added.

“Most of our part-time officers are current or former full-time officers with other agencies.

“We’ve had several current/former reserve officers take jobs in the field since joining our reserve unit. One individual became an emergency management coordinator in another county, one became a state prison guard,” Dickinson explained.

Others have stepped into rolls as a dispatcher, one became a deputy sheriff at the Benton County Sheriff Office, and one became a full time VPD officer. Dickinson stated that many of these individuals are still reserves or part time officers for the department.