Winamac police look into reserve officer program
The Winamac Police Department could see an addition of officers as town marshal Mike Buchanan looks into a reserve program.
Buchanan approached the town council for a second time about the idea during a regular council meeting on Monday, July 10. The idea was first brought to the attention of the council a couple of months ago. He said there was a reserve program in the past that worked well for the department and he already has someone in mind, Sheri Gaillard.
“She is fully accredited from being over in Medaryville and she has asked to go on as a nonpaid reserve of the Winamac Police Department,” said Buchanan of Gaillard, who wants to keep her certifications as a police officer.
Buchanan’s concern is of a new law that would require the town to cover any medical expenses of a reserve officer if they were hurt. The town would also be required to pay the injured reserve officer minimum wages for 40 hours for 260 weeks if the officer can’t work due to the injuries. Buchanan said there would also be an increase of $1,000 in the workman’s compensation insurance per year.
Council president Tommy Murray questioned if that rule would still apply for a part-time employee. Murray suggested that Buchanan and clerk-treasurer Melanie Berger look further into the part-time hiring of Gaillard.
At one time there was funding in the police budget for part-time officers.
Buchanan said he would look into the part-time information.
Murray also told Buchanan that he has heard positive comments about police officers being at the fair on bicycles.