Elkhart budgeting $85,000 for volunteer police program

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ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Elkhart’s police department is budgeting more than $85,000 to resume its volunteer reserves program.

The Elkhart Truth reports that funding is secured for up to ten volunteers. The spending plan includes about $85,000 for equipment and uniforms for the reserve officers.

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese says he expects to see a reduction in overtime costs for regular officers once the reserve officers become active.

The department previously had the program but let it wane when volunteer interest decreased. Restarting the program has been on Chief Ed Windbigler’s mind since he started nearly a year ago.

Police say the volunteers will supplement full-time officers day-to-day and during special events. Volunteers will have a different badge but have authority to carry a weapon, make arrests and help with investigations.

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