Volunteer Deputies Fundraise to Support Growing Membership
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office reserve unit has seen a recent rise in volunteer members, forcing it to find new ways to raise money.
The group is made up of volunteers who are trained and certified as law officers and assist regular Callaway County deputies with their duties on weekdays, weekends, and on special occasions.
Jackie Karhoff is a road deputy for the Callaway County Sherrif's Office and said the reserve unit helps when there is a lack of sheriff's deputies and on special occasions.
"We'll call them in when there's just a few deputies on duty for the night or on special occasions," Karhoff said.
Jim Mclaughlin is the commander of the patrol and has been a member of it for almost 30 years. He said when he started, the group used to have around 40 members, but the cost and tri-annual training of the certification caused the number of volunteers to drop in recent years.
"To take the class, it is your own investment and it's a big investment for a volunteer job," Mclaughlin said.
Mclaughlin said the number of group members was at an all time low just last year, but now has increased to 16 members. He said two more volunteers could be accepted by early March and that it hopes to reach and maintain a number of 20.
"It's hard to augment with the sheriff's department when we don't have very many members, so we would like to keep the number at 20," Mclaughlin said.
The patrol does not receive any public funding and relies on donations and fund raising to pay for equipment and uniforms. Mclaughlin says the group is holding a raffle to help get all of its members bullet proof vests.
"As we try to head towards that number of 20 members, we need to provide new members with the bullet resistant vests," Mclaughlin said. "We're hoping to be able to get three more."
The fundraiser is a raffle for a Remington Express 87 rifle. Approved Automotive is selling the tickets, along with members of the reserve unit. The drawing is the second weekend of April.