The Bloomfield Police Department is making preparations to begin a reserve officer program to augment the police force on an occasional basis as necessary.

Assistant Chief of Police, Zach Dunlavy, said any reserve officers working for the city would not replace certified officers, but would be available to assist the staff on certain occasions such as Halloween, homecoming, or any other event where more of a police presence is needed. Reserve officers could also be called upon when there are shortages in the department for some reason.

“The reserve officer program is good for giving potential police candidates some experience as well as offering the department a pool of candidates from which to hire,” Dunlavy said. “Some people just want to be a reserve officer,” he added. “We actually have a couple of certified officers who are interested in serving as reserves.”

City ordinance limits the number of reserves to five, and Dunlavy said reserve officers can do everything certified officers do except issue OWI citations.

The reserve officers will be in regular uniform, but their badges will be different. Because the reserve officers are volunteers, they will be scheduled to work only as their schedule allows.

Dunlavy said the reserve officers will receive free training at State Center through a grant program. When the officers graduate from reserve training, they are given a $500 gift card to cover uniform expenses. The city’s only expense for the program will be transportation to and from State Center.

The reserve officer training is covered over a span of about six weekends.