West Hennepin Public Safety has provided police services to the cities of Maple Plain and Independence for 35 years, and for 33 years, it has been assisted by a group of volunteers who make up its Reserve Officer Program.
Current reservists are Phil Beck, Angie Grabowski, Matt Rosati, Lisa Schreier and Jeff Strand. WHPS is looking for people to join the current group of five and do volunteer service as police reserves. For information, call WHPS at 763-479-0500 and speak with Police Officer Ben Anderson.
WHPS Director Ray McCoy called the WHPS Reserve Officers a dedicated group.
“Every year they provide additional services to our communities by patrolling neighborhoods, responding during emergencies and weather-related events, directing traffic, and making appearances and performing functions at community events,” he said. “In 2013 Reserve Officers donated over 1,500 hours to our communities.”
As part of their services to Independence and Maple Plain, WHPS Reserve Officers put on a community event in December called “View Santa.” Reserves escort Santa around town to see children and bring them small gifts. At the same time the Reserves collect food and money for the Maple Plain Food Shelf. This year reservists collected more than 969 pounds of food, McCoy said.
“Each Reserve has undergone a background and a physical agility test and is an upstanding member of the community,” he said. “Some of our current Reserve officers have retired from their personal careers, some are actively gaining experience in law enforcement for their future career, and others donate their time in addition to having their own career,” McCoy said.
People who want to give back to their community and be involved in public safety can do both through volunteer work in the Police Reserves.