San Juan County reserve deputies expanding force

Posted at: 09/09/2013 6:43 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Dozens of deputies who work in one New Mexico county aren't getting paid, but that's not a bad thing. The deputy reserves are volunteers who help the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

Beth Fox always wanted to be a police officer. She now works with the bureau of reclamation, but she also works for free for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

"When I did my first ride along it was amazing to watch and it’s just the control you have it very rewarding," Fox said. 

Fox and dozens of other men and women volunteer their time through the reserve deputy program.

Each reserve deputy is given proper law enforcement training. 

“It’s an interesting thing to do. It's different every day. You do things and you never know what's going to happen the next minute," reserve deputy Tony Drake said.

The sheriff's office is trying to expand its reserve volunteers from 30 to 50 members.

One of the ways the sheriff's department wants to utilize its reserve deputies is by putting some of them on a newly formed cold case unit.

With a new building that includes a crime lab, the sheriff's office decided they now's the time to have reserve deputies start looking into the county's unsolved crimes.

"We need fresh eyes on these issues," Sheriff Ken Christensen said.

It’s a project Fox and several other deputies are excited about.

"It’s very important to because we need to give closure to the families," Fox said.

The San Juan County sheriff tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 that since 2011 the reserve deputies have donated thousands of hours, and that’s saved the department about half a million dollars.

To raise money to buy the reserve deputies supplies, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Foundation is hosting a golf tournament September 21 at the Hidden Valley Golf Course. To register visit their website.