This is scary. I wonder just how long before the gun-fetishist vigilantes begin 'helping', bringing along their personal firearms, not because the situation requires a weapon, but 'just because they can' and using that to throw their weight around as having quasi-official status.
The New York Times has the report.
What's your opinion? Is this a good initiative or not?Roman Sarkisian easily passes for your average Fresno police officer: crew cut, tight-set jaw and “just-the-facts” demeanor.
“I like to do law enforcement stuff,” said Mr. Sarkisian, 23, an immigrant from the republic of Georgia who is studying criminology at the city college here. “I like helping out putting bad guys in jail.”
But Mr. Sarkisian is not a police officer, and he does not carry a gun or a Taser. He is a police volunteer, part of an experiment by departments across the country that enlists trained amateurs to perform a broad — and occasionally dangerous — array of investigative duties like collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, searching for missing persons and looking into long-dormant cases.
Hamstrung by shrinking budgets, the police say the volunteers are indispensable in dealing with low-level offenses and allow sworn officers to focus on more pressing crimes and more violent criminals.
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