By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Payne County Sheriff’s Department is starting its first reserve deputies class in four years.
Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Woodward said the department is trying to revitalize the program which has dwindled in the past few years.
There are 13 people who have signed up to become reserve deputies.
Reserve deputies work eight to 16 hours each month, often assisting with events such as the Payne County Fair and Tumbleweed’s Calf Fry. Reserve deputies also help with wildfires, missing person searches and other incidents that require a large amount of deputies.
Deputy Chris Nixon, who is supervising the program, said the training lasts five months and crams in everything full-time deputies would be taught. The trainees attend four-hour classes three times a week and also have to spend some weekends training as well. This training will cover laws, firearms, patrolling, defensive tactics and more.
Many of them own businesses, have full-time jobs and families. The job gives no pay and requires the reserve deputies to purchase approximately $1,500 in equipment.
“There’s people in the community who want to give back and this is one way,” Sheriff R.B. Hauf said. “Thank goodness there are people who want to do that because we have to rely on the reserves so much.”
Tom Smith is the owner of Stillwater Armory, a gun and gun accessories store. He has signed up for reserve deputy training, which starts later this month.
“It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community,” Smith said.
He conducts classes on firearms safety and skills. While it will be a grueling five months of study and training, Smith said he is excited to get out and interact with residents.