We all know that the job of a San Juan County Sheriff’s deputy is to serve and protect the residents of our community. What many do not know is that not all deputies are paid for that service.
More than 20 citizens donate their time through the sheriff’s office’s Reserve Deputy Program. Reserve deputy sheriffs are utilized to supplement manpower needs for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. Like full-time deputies, reserve deputies will receive professional law enforcement training and will become duly sworn law enforcement personnel at minimal or no cost to the county.
“These men and women put on a gun, badge, and body armor and are exposed to the same risks as our paid deputies, and they do not get paid a thing,” Sheriff Ken Christesen said. “They all see it as a way for them to give back to their community. They like being involved in their community and they are good at what they do. You would not know a reserve deputy from a paid deputy if you saw them responding to a call.”
Some are ex-law enforcement members who want to stay close to the profession, while most reserve deputies are men and women holding down other jobs throughout the community. “Our reserve deputies are business owners, government employees, work in the oil field industry and many other walks of life,” said Christesen.”
To help give Sheriff’s Office Reserve deputies the recognition and honor they deserve for their demonstrated commitment, the Sheriff’s Office recently presented many of them with certificates of achievement. “The certificates recognize reserves that have achieved a certain standard,” said Lieutenant David Hamlin, who oversees the reserve program.
Here’s a list of reserve deputies who received their certificates at a recent reserve deputy meeting for the levels they had achieved.
LEVEL 2 RESERVE DEPUTY -
(Have completed all the scheduled trainings, graduated the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Academy, completed 60 hours of field training.)
- Anthony Harrison
- Myron Begay
- Matthew Gonzales
- Chenice Kuettel
- James Winters
- Danny Zurface
- Tony Drake
- Sheila Keeling
- Charles Bedford
- David Coponiti
- Steve Montoya
- Doyle Castle
- Darren Baysinger
- Shannon Lewis
- Eli Lisko
- Kevin Fox
- Beth Fox
- Stewart Logan
- Donald Rieker
- Bill Hooser
These volunteers not only protect San Juan County residents, they also save taxpayers money. The reserves are part of the Sheriff’s Office Volunteer’s In Partnership Program (V.I.P.). Since its inception in 2011, the volunteers in the V.I.P have logged more than 19,400 hours. When their hours worked are added up, these volunteers have saved the county about $430,000*.
Working an average of 5,000 volunteer hours each year, these reserve deputies have saved the Sheriff’s Office more than $250,000** in personnel expenses since the program started, said Hamlin.
The Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy Program prides itself on being a “low cost” program to San Juan County and the tax payers. The program seeks donations to make this program run in order to cover the costs associated with it. Donations and fundraisers pay for the training, uniforms and equipment utilized by the reserves.
“If it were not for the donations of our public and local businesses, we would not have a reserve deputy program,” said Hamlin. “Our reserves find ways to support themselves with this program, one being their Reserve Deputy Golf Tournament.”
The tournament is scheduled for September 21, 2013 at the Hidden Valley Golf Course. All proceeds from this tournament will be used to provide for training, and to purchase equipment and uniforms for the volunteers of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. “This is a great way for individuals to help us protect our community without raising taxes,” said Christesen. “Plus, you get to pay a little golf!”
The tournament is still open for registration. The cost is $100 for a single player, this includes the round of golf, a golf cart, lunch and drinks. Anyone interested in registering for the tournament should contact the Sheriff’s Office at (505) 334-6107 or visit www.sjcsofoundation.com/events/golftournament2013.
Ranks in the reserve program always need to be bolstered as it serves as a hiring pool for the sheriff’s office. “We’ve had a quite a few reserves that had very unique skills that came to work for us as reserves and ultimately came on full time,” Hamlin said. “We really do well when hiring from our reserves, because it kind of gives us the ability to observe them long before we have the opportunity to hire them.”
Anyone interested in becoming a reserve deputy should contact the Sheriff’s Office at (505) 334-6107 or visit www.sjcso.com.
*Based on the Independent Sector’s value of volunteer time.
**Based on the average hourly wage of a certified deputy.