Reserve officers serve and protect in Hobart without compensation

2011-09-11T00:00:00Z Reserve officers serve and protect in Hobart without compensationBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Hobart High School instructor/athletic trainer Mark Leto also works as a reserve officer for the city's police department.

Leto, 45, who signed up for reserve duty nearly 10 years ago about the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, wouldn't have it any other way, even though he's not getting paid.

"It was something I could do for the community; it was something I could do to give back to the community," Leto said.

Leto is one of 15 Hobart reserve officers, said officer Joseph Clemmons, who serves as school resource officer and reserve coordinator.

The department recently swore in seven reserve officers, the most since the program was started in March 2001, Clemmons said.

Reserve police officers have the same authority and share many of the same responsibilities as full-time police officers. They are not paid but receive police training and experience, Clemmons said.

The reserve program was started by former police Chief Brian Snedecor, now the city's mayor.

The program continues to be tweaked to make improvements, Clemmons said.

"My goal is to make the reserve division into a model that other departments will say, 'How is Hobart doing it?'" Clemmons said.

Some reserves such as Leto don't have intentions of becoming paid police officers.

Many have that goal in mind.

"Five out of the seven just sworn in want to be police officers," Clemmons said.

Those reserves who want to become officers receive the same training and classes.

"Becoming a reserve gets their foot into the door. They can put it on their resume, then get a job. Those who are reserves have more knowledge about being a police officer than someone who is green," Clemmons said.

For Leto, the reserve training is invaluable. He enjoys helping other officers with duties such as handling crowds at parades or prisoner transport.

"I'm out of the norm. For those guys who want to become police officers, every day they come out is like an interview. For me, it's the understanding that I'll augment what the officers need," Leto said.

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About Hobart

City Hall
414 Main Street Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 942-1940

Police Department
705 E. Fourth St. Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 942-1125

Fire Department
400 E. 10th Street Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 942-5184

Public Works
414 Main Street Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 942-6121

School City of Hobart
32 East 7th Street, Hobart, In 46342
(219) 942-8885

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