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Reserves bolster sheriff's office

"A brigade of 14 volunteers, some in jeans, others in skirts, a couple in uniforms, vowed to protect and to serve at the July 10 swearing-in ceremony of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office reserve force.Very few professions take an oath of office, Sheriff Steve Boyer told the group of volunteers assembled and ready to pledge their oath. Think about what it means. It's a special time, and it's very important to me.About seven volunteers graduated from the academy at Olympic College, paying their own tuition - as much as $700 - to be the sheriff's back-up team.The unpaid volunteer deputies provide their own uniforms, weapons, leather gear and other miscellaneous equipment. Boyer provides the badge.It's kind of cool ... that all these guys and gals volunteer all their time, he said.The reserve deputies' authority is somewhat more limited than fully commissioned deputies, but they, too, must pass background checks, exams and polygraph tests. They are expected to serve a minimum of 20 hours a month, including ride-alongs and reserve deputy meetings and training. Deputies might be called out to work community events, secure crime scenes or assist with natural disasters. Reserve deputies worked July 4 to assist with crowd control and provide back-up patrols.Before the oath was administered, Sonya Matthews, president of the reserve association, presented awards for outstanding service.Joseph Ring received the reserve deputy of the year award, and the deputy of the year award went to Darren Andersson, who helps coordinate the reserve program. He thanked the reserve deputies for their contribution to the Sheriff's Office. Without an organization, you can't have this, so I want to thank you guys for volunteering your time, he said.Dave Kirby said he has wanted to be in law enforcement since he was a little shaver. Though he currently works construction in Port Orchard, he said he is seeking a career in police work for the honor to serve as a public servant and to help the public.He said reserve deputies basically do just about everything fully commissioned deputies do. We do what the regular deputies do, we just don't get paid for it, he said.April Anderson, a Port Orchard receptionist, said she has wanted to be in law enforcement since junior high school. My brother was in the reserves, and I got to see what he got to do, she said. She added she likes to get out to meet and help people. She, too, would like to pursue law enforcement full time.Anderson said those who want to pursue law enforcement careers sometimes get hired with other police forces. Some are hired by the Sheriff's Office, and others are happy volunteering. We have a little mix of everything, he said.Boyer thanked the volunteers for their time and dedication. Our country was founded on volunteerism. They didn't want to know how much they would get paid to fight, he said, citing the intrinsic value of contributing to a good cause. Years from now, you won't look back at the money ... you'll think, 'I was a part of something.'He lauded the efforts of the deputies in the department. Human beings share a hope for the future, Boyer said. I don't think anybody has a better idea of that than our deputies."

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