Reserve officers making your streets safer.

Reserve officers making your streets safer. »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash.-- It is a grassroots effort that's truly making our streets safer. The next time you see a police car patrolling your neighborhood, it could actually be a reserve officer rather than a full time cop. The benefits are two-fold: it's saving your tax dollars while still putting bad guys behind bars.

Whether it's offering their time during retirement or simply juggling another job, Yakima's reserve officers are determined make people feel safer. With 14 reserve officers in YPD during 2012, officers were given some extra help. Reserve officers spent half their time patrolling Yakima's streets and people who live in Yakima say that makes them feel safer.

"The more people on the streets in uniform, the better the city's going to be," said Dan Carmack, who lives in Yakima.

Being able to put more officers on the streets has saved money too. The time put forth by reserve officers is equal to that of about 2 full time officers. In other words, it's allowed YPD to do more with less.

"It makes me feel a lot safer I know I live a few blocks away from here and there's a lot of different crime going on and a lot of sirens at night so it makes me feel safer," Shawn Carmack said.

"We need as many bodies as we can out there in this day in age," said Gary Carmack.

Each reserve officer has to put in 20 hours of work a month, but each month every officer exceeded that requirement.

"I think thats the right thing to do because the more patrol on the streets, the less crime is going to happen in this city," said Dan Carmack.

4,820 hours of work were put in last year. That's more than 1,500 hours more than required all to make our streets safer. Some reserve officers find a bigger calling in their service. Last year, two reserve officers left the unit to become full time officers.