One such officer is Agent Brian Cohen, who now serves as reserve
coordinator. Cohen joined the force as a reserve in 1986, and by 1990
had decided to make law enforcement his full-time job.
"After doing the work, I fell in love with it," Cohen said.
Reserve officers must complete nearly 400 hours of training, the
same as their full-time peers. They perform all the same duties, as
"If I'm on patrol and the next call is a murder or rape, I'm
expected to deal with that," said Gary Dunger, a 10-year-veteran of
the Glendale Reserves.
Dunger will be honored as Reserve Officer of the Year at a dinner
Thursday night, part of Reserve Officer Appreciation Week. There's
good reason to be appreciative: Each year, reserve officers save the
department more than $200,000 in payroll.
Glendale's reserve program has been around since 1968 and has been
used as a model by other departments.
Dunger, a fire marshal by day, spent five years as a reserve with
another department. He said the Glendale program stands apart because
the line between reserves and full-timers is so thin.
"The wonderful thing about [the Glendale Police] is the reserves
receive the same respect and expectations as full-time officers,"
The department is always accepting applications from prospective
reserves. Despite the time commitment required, more people continue
to apply. Cohen said the biggest pinch on the reserve numbers comes
from all the ones who move into full-time positions. Others, like
Dunger, are content to serve as reservists.
"It's a wonderful way to give back to your community," he said.