The Need for Volunteers
When the U.S. was forced into World War II in 1941, manpower shortages became prevalent within the Jackson Police Department. Volunteers from local sportsmen’s clubs and civic groups were sought to form an auxiliary police unit. These volunteers supported standard police and civil defense activities, serving the City of Jackson valiantly until the end of the war in 1945.
The auxiliary reserve unit lay dormant for 5 years after the end of World War II, until the outbreak of the Korean War spurred the unit back into action. It became known as the “special police unit” and provided formalized training to the members of the unit for the first time. It also would be organized along formal paramilitary lines to establish a proper chain of command.
By 1954, interest and participation in the special police unit was so high, it became a permanent part of the Jackson Police Department and was renamed the Jackson Police Reserve Unit by executive orders from the city manager and chief of police. There was no official ordinance or resolution to establish it, but support was garnered through the general allocation of funds for the unit’s uniforms and equipment.
After the Wars
After the Korean Conflict waned, the Jackson Police Reserve Unit experienced various levels of participation while remaining active in supporting patrols, traffic control, parades and other community events. Members of the Reserve Unit also began serving as a ready-trained “reserve force”, which could be activated on short notice in the event of natural disasters, civil disorders or attack on the nation.
Official Creation of the Reserve unit
In the late 1960s, the police reserves continued to see their roles expand. Reserve officers began riding with regular officers as a “second person” during routine patrols. In 1975, City Ordinance 75-5 was adopted by the Jackson City Commission, finally establishing the Jackson Police Reserve Unit as an official entity of the Police Department.
There have only been 4 commanders in the history of the Jackson Police Reserve Unit:
- Harry F. Layher (1946-1970)
- Everett Trumble (1970-1987)
- L. Castillo (1987-1995)
- Mr. James Acker (1995-2022)
- Mr. Adam Garcia (2022-Present)