Flint hiring second class of reserve officers

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Flint (WJRT) - (07/28/17) - Flint Police are looking for 30 people to join their ranks as Reserve Officers.

You'll be the eyes and ears of the department, helping assist regular officers in their every day tasks.

The first class since the 1970s just graduated in March.

There were 19 volunteers of all ages who went through the first training.

Since graduation, one has actually entered the police academy.

The others continue to serve as a support system to the already-understaffed department.

"Whatever needs to be done. They're there to support that officer. If it's at a crime scene, telling whose coming in, keeping that crime scene log. If it's there to support them on a traffic stop, whatever that officer needs, that's what they're there for," explained Reserve Officer Lt. Tracy Austin.

It's hard to tell by her uniform, but Lt. Austin is just a volunteer. She and her fellow reserve officers are armed.

Together, they went through 150 hours of training - on firearms, self-defense and traffic stops.

Besides partnering with road officers, the reserve officers also there to bridge the gap between the department and the community.

Several of the reserves also help out at big events, like next month's Back to the Bricks. You'll see them serving as an extra set of eyes and ears to protect those in attendance.

Lt. Austin was actually already a volunteer with the department, so she continues to serve in the Detective Bureau.

She mans the phones, interacting with those who filed a complaint -- freeing up the Detectives to be out in the City working more serious calls, like a homicide.

"I've got three kids. I'm raising my kids in the City of Flint. I wanted them to feel safe, but I wanted to just give back to my neighborhood. I moved into Flint. I like Flint. So that's what pushed me to do this," she explained.

Lt. Austin says if you're unsure about applying, she or one of the other officers are willing to meet with you.

We have a link to the application when you click on the 'related links' section of this story.

You don't have to be a Flint resident, but it is encouraged.

(7/26/17) - The Flint Police Department wants more volunteers helping out.

It's accepting applications for volunteer reserve officers.

Back in March, the first class of reserves graduated. 18 people underwent 154 hours of training in the classroom and out on the shooting range.

The reserves officers are armed.

You can drop off applications Monday through Friday, 10 to 3.

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