For the five members of the Isanti Police Department Reserve program, volunteering is something they’re passionate about, and the time and years dedicated to service proves that.
“The reserves provide a vital ancillary law enforcement role to the community on a volunteer basis,” Isanti Police Chief Travis Muyres said. “As a small department, we don’t always have staff to provide a law enforcement presence at community events. The police reserves are present at street dances, jubilee parade, rodeo and other community events. The reserve unit is a force multiplier that does not have the budgetary strain that paying an officer overtime would have.”
“The police reserves serve the community on a volunteer basis. They are ‘donating’ their time to our community. Because of the nature of this volunteer role, they are inherently dedicated to the community. Oftentimes the reserve officers have more time to interact with the community than the officers that are responding to calls for service,” Muyres added.
Part of the duties of a reserve include not only backing up officers but also responding to medical calls, completing security checks at local businesses, being present at community events, providing traffic detail and patrolling the streets.
No matter what the task, the reserves have one main focus: community.
“We’re here to serve our community and keep it safe,” said reserve Jed Lethaby. “We help the community feel safe at events by providing a police presence.”
The reserves use their skills within the city of Isanti and in their own lives and communities as well.
“There’s so much going on here in the area that it’s nice to know some stuff and how to do things, so you can take that back to your own neighborhoods,” said nine-year veteran reserve Tom Broeckert. “Our job is to help assist the officers in patrolling the city and keeping everyone safe; as a reserve officer you’re a backup for the officers.”
Not only is the department looking for those interested in a career in law enforcement, but also those looking to serve their community and make a difference.
“We really have two different people that come in wanting to be reserves. Some want to come in and help their community and be a part of the police department, but don’t want to be a police officer,” reserve coordinator Brian Saba said. “We also have the other side, those that want to be a police officer or be in law enforcement. When I started in law enforcement and going to school, I joined to be a reserve to gain the knowledge of being a police officer.”
“I was a reserve and put in hundreds and hundreds of hours every year in Anoka County, doing everything from ride-alongs with officers, patrolling with other reserves and helping to work other events,” Saba added.
For the department’s newest reserve, Taylor Japp, she hopes her experience with the program will help her in her future career in law enforcement.
“I grew up around here and I went to school for law enforcement, and I thought this would be great for me getting into the career field,” Japp said.
For Fred Trosvik, a 20-year veteran reserve officer, volunteering comes as second nature, and over the years he’s seen a change in demand and tasks set forth for the reserves.
“The training has changed immensely. When I first started there was hardly any training; they stuck us in an old, beat-up military vehicle and told us to drive around,” Trosvik said. “Now it’s become way more organized and established with training, and every month we have something we learn or meet on.”
The additional trainings have built the program, and the reserves can see the change.
“It’s really changed. It’s no longer ‘this is an officer and this is a reserve,’ it’s a unit,” Broeckert said. “When we go out, we know what the officer can do and they know what we can do, so we can work together better. You really can get involved and assist to make sure the officer is safe and we have their backs.”
Having a reserve unit within the city is beneficial to the department as well as the community.
“The Isanti reserve unit has annually contributed thousands of hours per year. The dedication of the reserve officers has enhanced the quality of life to the citizens of Isanti,” Muyres said. “I would encourage anyone that sees a reserve officer out in public to take the time to thank them for volunteering their time to make our community a happier and safer place to call home.”
Requirements to be an Isanti police reserve
“Ideally we would like to take on three to five reserve officers over the next year,” Muyres said. “Good police reserves are persons with a very high level of dedication, compassion and integrity. The motivation to be a reserve must be the motivation to serve our community and enhance the quality of life.”
“We really look for someone who’s committed and willing to come into the job with open eyes and the desire to learn,” Saba said. “We want someone that wants to be involved and assist the police department.”
To be considered, applicants must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school education or equivalent, have the willingness to dedicate 100 hours per year, have the ability to pass a background check and possess the physical ability to perform ancillary law enforcement tasks.
“Persons that are dedicated to serve the community with respect, integrity and professionalism can visit the city of Isanti website and apply online,” added Muyres.
For more information on becoming a police reserve for the city of Isanti visit www.cityofisanti.us/police-department/pages/police-reserve-unit. Any questions can be directed to Muyres at 763-444-4761.