New class of reserve officers ready to patrol - WNEM TV 5

New class of reserve officers ready to patrol

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A new class of officers is ready to protect and serve.

One city is reviving its reserve officer program. On Monday, 18 new reserve officers received their badge.

"Definitely feel better about coming down here and seeing what Flint's all about, downtown Flint is all about," said Joe Kukla, employee at 501 Bar and Grill.

Because of the bad wrap the city gets, some are still concerned about the safety downtown. The Flint police chief heard those concerns and soon there will be more officers on the streets.

"I always knew I'd be doing something to help my city out," said Willie Gray, reserve officer.

Gray chose to do so by putting on the police department's blue uniform.

"The one thing that made me say I was doing this is when our city was going and the help that our city needed. I got to put my foot in and got to do what I need to do," Gray said.

The 62-year-old is one of the city's newest reserve officers. The program hasn't been activated since the early 1980s.

Gray will soon volunteer his time as special events in the city.

He, along with 17 other officers, graduated on Monday and received their badges.

"I just feel complete now because I've always wanted to be a part of my city and doing whatever I can to make my city safe and I really feel like I'm ready now, ready to do this now," Gray said.

"When people feel secure they're going to come down. They're going to feel much better," Kukla said.

The reserve officers are required to have concealed pistol licenses and are not paid for their service.

Flint Police Capt. Devon Bernritter said the reserve officers will not only help fight crime, but will also be a bridge between the department and the community to hopefully better relations.

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