Whenever the police department is stretched thin and needs a helping hand, they have two groups of loyal volunteers to call on, the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse and police volunteers.
Until recently, mostly police volunteers handled watching over crime scenes, completing office work and aiding in anything else police needed. But the police department needs more volunteers to keep up with the demand for services, said Police Chief Don Engler.
“Our volunteers have been taxed pretty heavily,” he said. “To supplement them, the posse has come forward.”
While police volunteers will continue to provide administrative services, the posse’s 30 members are stepping up to assist with event security and patrol.
For example, after a traffic signal went down a month ago, posse members did traffic control for the police department for three hours.
Sgt. Lorne Cory, with the posse, said they would like to continue working with police in this way but also get a closer working relationship with police volunteers and possibly share training.
“Since both groups volunteer their time, the services are at no cost to the taxpayers and giving back to the community of which they live,” Cory said.
At a general posse meeting Tuesday evening, Engler spoke with posse members and thanked them for their assistance. He said he would also like to see the two groups of volunteers work together.
He is also seeking additional volunteers to supplement both groups.
Unlike police volunteers, posse members are certified to carry weapons. They mainly work with the sheriff’s department and do jail transports.