RENO, Nev. (AP) - The University of Nevada, Reno, campus police department is establishing a force of reserve officers to help patrol the campus and assist during special events and emergencies.
Officials said though idea has been considered for years, its implementation is timely because of recent sexual assaults, rowdy
football fans, tragedies on other college campuses, and the kidnapping and murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison in January from an off-campus home.
"The Brianna Denison case and the fact we want to provide a better game-day experience for fans, not just at athletic events but at all special events, helped us jump start a commitment from the university to support the program," said Assistant Police Chief Todd Renwick.
"We've been kicking the idea of reserve officers for a long time, but it isn't until you have incidents like Virginia Tech piling up across the nation that you realize it's more important than it was yesterday," Renwick said.
The department will recruit, hire and train about 20 applicants to serve as part-time police officers.
University administrators have allocated money for the first year for reserve officers, who will be paid from $15 to $20 an hour, depending on experience.
The agency currently as 24 sworn, full-time positions, three of which are vacant.
Renwick estimates the reserve program will cost about $30,000 in the first year.
"Hopefully, we can prove the effectiveness of the program and show results for the university and go from there," he said.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)