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Sheriff's reserves training new recruits

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
Training for the new class of the Franklin County Sheriff's Reserves is in full swing, and in a few short weeks the program hopes to have to add 13 new reserve officers to their roster.
Reserve Commander Mike Franklin said that the selection process for the reserve program is somewhat competitive, and all recruits must pass a background check before moving to the next phase.
"It's a pretty extensive background check," Franklin said. "If you have ever had a speeding ticket, it's going to show up."
Once the recruit passes the background check, there is an interview process, but Sheriff Larry Plott gets the final say as to who get into the reserve program, and who does not.
"After everything is complete, I take the paper work to the sheriff and he decides who becomes a reserve officer," Franklin said.
Reserve training is eight weeks of training using police academy practices, which gets them ready for the streets.
"They get a taste of everything," Franklin said. "It's like a miniature police academy."
Reserves learn self-defense as part of the curriculum, and must qualify with a firearm before passing the training.
"They [the reserves] must score a 70 or better to qualify with their firearms," Franklin said.
After the training is over, the reserves work on patrol with Sheriff's deputies, dispatch or inside the jail, do administrative tasks, or help with special events and security; all on a voluntary basis meaning no pay.
"All reserves are volunteers and are not paid," Franklin said.
While the reserve officers are not paid, there is a major benefit to becoming a reserve officer-a possible opportunity for employment with the department.
"We hire a lot of our reserves," Franklin said. "It definitely helps with hiring if the candidate was a reserve officer."