With the swearing in of nine reserve deputies, the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Reserve Unit is up to strength again.
The reserve unit now numbers 14, with nine new deputies sworn in Thursday in the courtroom at the Buena Vista County Courthouse.
"We've been real pleased with the group," said Sheriff Chuck Eddy. "We've had some dedicated volunteers."
A reserve deputy's duties are the same as a full-time deputy, including patrolling, traffic enforcement, and accident and criminal investigations.
"Just last week we even had a couple reserve deputies helping with the search at the recycling center," Eddy said.
The reserve officers also assist at different events throughout the year, from traffic control at the Marathon to Marathon to public safety at the county fair.
They are dedicated to helping out where they can and however they can, often giving up nights and weekends to ride along with sheriff's deputies. It is something the sheriff appreciates.
"They'll jump in to ride along and be a second person out there," Eddy said.
The reserve unit has been in place for approximately two-and-a-half years. It started with eight officers, but dropped down to five before the sheriff's office recruited the new reserve officers.
To become a reserve deputy, candidates must complete 150 hours of training within four years. Eddy said they try to complete that training within a year-and-a-half.
The reserves are strictly volunteers, receiving no compensation and purchasing all of their own equipment and uniforms. "Everything they need they have to purchase themselves," Eddy said.
Most recently the group has been raising funds to purchase bulletproof vests for the new officers.
"We're very appreciative to all of the businesses that have donated to the reserves," Eddy said.
It costs about $1,600 to fully equip each reserve deputy.
"The volunteers do this because they want to make a difference and offer help to the citizens of BV County at no additional cost to the taxpayers," Eddy said.
For more information about donating to the Sheriff's Reserve Unit, contact Scott Mack, secretary/treasurer, at 712-732-4598 or check out the reserve page on the sheriff's web site, www.bvsheriff.com.