July 23, 2014 at 1:00 am

LETTER

Clearing the air on Oakley

The debate about the role of police reservists in the Village of Oakley has heated up. (Dale G. Young / The Detroit News)

As a longtime Oakley resident and village president pro tem, I’d like to respond to The Detroit News’ July 8 article, “Village, reserve cops find mutual gains.”

I would like to address points in the article that I feel deserve further explanation.

The process of becoming a reservist is not as simple as “trading donations for looser weapon rules.”

Those wishing to support our community have been thoroughly vetted by the state of Michigan and the FBI.

All reservists must complete a background check and their fingerprints are entered into the FBI database.

That’s not to mention the quarterly training, qualification and certification requirements with a state licensed trainer.

These are citizens of high character and community standing.

Each reservist shares this interest in community involvement, community service and enforcing the law.

They do not have arresting powers and they are always paired with a regular officer while patrolling the village.

Moreover, there’s more to protecting the reservist’s identities beyond “publicity affecting their full-time jobs.”

There are laws specifically designed to protect against disclosure of information that “would identify or provide a means of identifying a person as a law enforcement officer, agent or informant.”

Disclosure of their identities could make them targets and endanger their safety and that of their families.

Should the reservists’ identities be exposed, what would opponents do with that information? Send them a Christmas card?

These volunteers should be protected as we would any person who enforces the law.

Our police chief, Rob Reznick, brought the reservists to Oakley because he believes in our community.

He wants to help the people of Oakley and has the means to do it through experience and connections.

But there are some who don’t want an active law enforcement agency in Oakley.

The village of Oakley and its residents should respect those who are volunteering their time and resources to protect the village.

Sue Dingo, president pro tem, village of Oakley