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How the Cumming Police Department will incorporate volunteer officers for special events
Cumming Police

The Cumming Police Department will be getting help from volunteers for some of the department’s biggest events of the year. 

At a regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17, members of the Cumming City Council approved a resolution that would allow unpaid, volunteer police officers to be covered by the city’s workers’ compensation plan. 

City Administrator Phil Higgins said Cumming Police Chief David Marsh had been requesting using reserve officers’ unit and the city and police department previously had a similar unit in place. 

“This unit would be compromised of certified officers who may be retired or choosing a different career path,” Higgins said during the meeting. “This would enable the officers to maintain their certifications while providing a free labor source for our agency. The reserve officers would primarily be used in special circumstances like the [Cumming County Fair & Festival] each year and parades, where staff is stretched pretty thin.” 

He said the volunteers would not be paid or receive any benefits from the city. 

“Free labor is always a benefit, especially if they know what they’re doing,” Councilwoman Linda Ledbetter said at the meeting. 

Reached after the meeting, Marsh said the plan was to start small with two to four officers, though that could increase in the future, that could help with special events, court security, filling in for full-time officers who are out or helping with specific cases or complaints. 

All will be fully sworn and Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, or POST, certified.  

“The reserve officer program is something we wanted to use at the police department to provide some supplemental support for our full-time staff during events where extra help may be needed,” Marsh said. “The reserve program will help us cut down on some overtime costs and provide extra help during busy events.”