The Shepherdstown Community Club hosted their monthly dinner and program Oct. 24, welcoming Cpl. Joe Malcolm of the Jefferson County Sheriff Reserves, to share information about the county's Reserve Academy.
The academy is the only one of its kind in the state of West Virginia, Malcolm told guests. The group celebrated their second graduation earlier this year, and the next class is already full.
Malcolm explained that individuals seeking to serve as a member of the Sheriff's Reserves must now complete the academy which includes over 150 hours of training.
"Reservists assist with community events including the fair, the Arts and Crafts festival and other large events," Malcolm said. "They also assist with traffic accidents, policing and arrests. These men and women will be an extra set of eyes and ears for the Sheriff," he continued.
The idea of an academy came about because reservists in the past have been trained in an unorganized manner based on time constraints and availability. While each received training from a certified officer, the timeline varied with each individual.
The Academy has received statewide recognition and support and may lead to a statewide program, Malcolm said. Cadets in the program now will receive credit from Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, who have partnered to support the program.
Shepherdstown Police Chief Dave Ransom was on hand at the dinner and shared his support of the program. He and Malcolm indicated that discussions could be forthcoming with regard to have specific Reservists assigned to municipal areas like Shepherdstown.
"We come out to help with big events here in Shepherdstown," Malcolm said. "We were just here for Freedom's Run." He went on to say that it makes sense to have reserve units for each town; however, discussions on such a project are only beginning to get underway.
The next program and dinner to be hosted by the Community Club will be held Nov. 12 with social hour at 6 p.m. and a traditional holiday dinner at 7. The choir from Jefferson High School will provide entertainment as the evening's program. To reserve a seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-702-3026.