TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka police department has ended a reserve program that had allowed trained volunteers to carry firearms and help enforce the law with the same authority as actual officers.
The program began more than 60 years ago but had dwindled to only five people before it officially ended Dec. 1 because of concerns that Kansas law doesn’t provide guidance for reserve officers and liability issues.
There were 30 reserves in January 1991, and the department had planned to add 20 more, but the number dropped to 13 by 2006 and continued to decline, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1ucoFwM ).
Craig Posch, who served 30 years with the reserves, said he and other reserve officers were disappointed by the decision and he will miss “having the satisfaction of being able to help the citizens with their needs.”
“Not being able to do that hurts a little bit,” he said. “I think we made a considerable difference.”
The end of the program, which began in 1953, is one of the many changes since James Brown became chief in October. The staff has been restructured, and the number of command staff members has dropped through attrition and the renaming of departments.
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