Madison Heights has spots open in police reserves

Limited openings in need of civilian volunteers

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published October 3, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — They wear uniforms and are armed like regular officers, patrolling the city in marked police cars and providing the same presence.

The difference is, they’re unpaid volunteers — just everyday people, contributing time out of love for the community.

The ranks of the Madison Heights Police Reserves fluctuate all the time, but right now, there are a few open spots that need to be filled. Applications are being accepted at the Madison Heights Police Department, 280 W. 13 Mile.

To be eligible, one must be age 21 or older and have a good driving record. Applicants must also pass a criminal history check, physical exam and oral interview; receive training from a police reserve officer academy or equivalent program; and successfully complete the unit Field Training Officer program.

The academy portion entails 120 hours of training on different aspects of the job. For instance, at the Oakland Police Academy, trainees learn duties and responsibilities, public relations, criminal law and civil liability, patrol techniques, police communications, first-aid techniques, traffic direction and control, firearms training, defensive tactics and more.

Applicants must also have a concealed pistol license so that if crime occurs, they can protect themselves or someone in danger. That being said, reserve officers don’t have arrest powers like a regular officer; instead, they call the MHPD when they observe a misdemeanor. They can, however, take action if someone commits a felony.

Currently, there are 18 Police Reserve officers in Madison Heights. The minimum time requirement is eight hours per month, and scheduling is flexible.

“They supplement our police department in several aspects of the job,” said Madison Heights Police Chief Anthony Roberts. “They deliver subpoenas for the detective bureau. They conduct vacation home checks, which helps road patrol. They patrol neighborhoods and businesses, so if they see something out of the ordinary, they tell us. They help out with traffic control, if needed, like when lights are out in a storm.

“They are especially helpful with events, such as the parade and fireworks, and they assist us in any emergency that comes up, in which the command structure may need help and regular officers are not available,” he said. “In these cases, the reserves help out.”

City Councilman Richard Clark is the council’s liaison on the Madison Heights Crime Commission and the Madison Heights Police Reserves. He served with the reserves for 24 years, graduating in the first class in 1974 and serving as director until he was elected to City Council in 1997.

“The reserves make a difference by letting regular police officers stay on the road and deal with crime,” Clark said. “We try to get the reserves to stay in the neighborhoods, instead of being out on John R and 12 Mile. We want them in the neighborhoods so that they’re visible. When people see them, they automatically feel safer.”

Those interested in joining the Madison Heights Police Reserves can acquire application forms at the Madison Heights Police Department, 280 W. 13 Mile. For more information, call the MHPD at (248) 585-2100.