The Mendota Heights Police Department began a reserve unit in 1967 to support the sworn police officers working in the field.
The program fell by the wayside until 2009 when the unit was revived under the guidance of volunteer Captain Jerry Murphy, who was the remaining member of the original program.
Tuesday night, the department swore in four new reserve officers.
The Reserve Unit also accepted the resignations of two officers, who are leaving for family and work obligations according to Sgt. Brian Convery, bringing the number of police reserves to seven.
It takes 42 hours of basic training in addition to volunteer time and extensive background checks to make the cut. Two of the reserve officers recently completed formal programs to become licensed officers, adding that much more depth of experience to the reserve squad.
While reserves do not carry guns or arrest powers, they help with "non-precarious" support activities— things like event presence, extra patrol, transports and crime prevention.
Last year, Murphy, reserve officers Randy Pentel, Gino Messina, Andy Quinlan, Jesse Mettner and Volunteer Coordinator Becky Pentel in total volunteered 1,536 recorded hours.
The current reserve officers were honored for their service with President's Volunteer Service Awards. Gino Messina and Andy Quinlan, those leaving the unit, wre also recognized for their time.
New Mendota Heights Reserve Officers:
President's Service Award Recipients:
Randy Pentel–Presidential Gold, 826 hours
Jerry Murphy—Presidential Bronze, 235 hours
Becky Pentel—Presidential Bronze, 192 hours
Gino Messina–Presidential Bronze, 127 hours