SAUK RAPIDS -- The Sauk Rapids police department is following suit with other central Minnesota agencies.

The department is looking for volunteers to join their newly created Police Reserve Program. Police Chief Perry Beise says he's been wanting to add this program for about a year.

The mayor and two of my police officers came to me and asked if we could start a reserve program. I asked them to do some research for me and after training in some brand new police officers we felt this was the right time.

Reserve officers are non-licensed volunteers who would assist police officers with tasks such as directing traffic or crowd control during large events.

Beise says the city council recently approved $8,000 to get the program going and outfit the recruits with proper attire.

We need to provide them with an equipment belt and similar defensive equipment our officers have like pepper spray, a baton, taser. Those things cost money so we had to budget for that and get that in place.

Beise says you do not need to be a resident of Sauk Rapids to join the program.

The police department is currently accepting applications for the program through November 15th. If all goes well Beise says he would like to start training the new reserve officers by January.

Sauk Rapids would join St. Cloud, Sartell and Waite Park as departments to have a reserve officer program.

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