How can you tell a cop from a regular civilian here in Michigan? Easy! Cops wear uniforms, carry guns and badges, and enforce the law, while the average civilian doesn’t, right?
Believe it or not, there are thousands of civilians around Michigan who wear uniforms, carry badges and guns, and assist in law enforcement. And no, we’re not talking about people who impersonate officers. We’re talking about civilian officers, and they operate all over the state without any kind of oversight from the state.
Stop and think about that for a minute…. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
So what exactly are reserve officers?
Reserve officers, also known as an auxiliary officers can be either volunteers or paid workers, depending on the circumstance and the department they work for. They help real police officers by performing law enforcement duties in their community, when there aren’t enough trained officers to do the necessary law enforcement work.
Are reserve officers trained like regular cops?
Nope, they’re not. A recent Detroit Free Press investigation revealed that there are no state-established training requirements for reserve officers in Michigan. There are also no standards for screening their potential qualifications, and no process for monitoring their conduct while they’re “on duty.”.
In fact, the Michigan Commision on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES), who is responsible for licensing and training police officers, doesn’t regulate reserve officers (despite the fact that new laws put in place last year allow them to do just that!) And to make matters worse, when questioned by the Free Press during their investigation, MCOLES revealed that they didn’t even know how many unlicensed volunteer “officers” there are right now in Michigan.
Why does it matter? Who cares if they’re trained or not?
Police officers do a vdifficult and demanding job, not to mention the danger involved. They go out, every day, into a world where they investigate crimes and come into contact with criminals, putting their lives on the line over and over in the name of protecting the rest of us and enforcing the law. It is an extremely stressful job, and exposes them to many situations where they could lose their lives, or take someone else’s life, with a single mistake.
As anyone who has ever worked in law enforcement or the military can tell you, the only way to reduce those chances, is to train hard and often. Training is what allows many officers to survive deadly conflicts, and helps them manage situations that seem out of control to bystanders. Viewed in that light, armed and uniformed volunteers with no training sounds like a disaster waiting to happen!
Have your rights been violated by a police officer in Michigan?
If police officers showed at your house, demanding to search the premises, or are accusing you of something you didn’t do, you need to call us immediately at 866 766 5245! If you’ve been brought in for questioning, are being told that you have to “come down to the station” to talk to someone, or have been charged with a crime, DO NOT WAIT! Call us immediately! Our skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you. Remember, your first step is to lawyer up and shut up. Your second step is to phone The Kronzek Firm’s criminal defense team with nearly a quarter of a century of experience helping people in Michigan’s lower peninsula.