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Peachtree City's finest ...and free-est

Peachtree City’s police force has two new cops on the street at a deep discount.

Residents Phil Jones and Eric Semon were sworn in Thursday as the city’s first reserve police officers. Both have graduated from police academy, taking classes at night ... and at their own cost.

Now fully certified, Jones and Semon have full arrest powers and will be equipped with uniform, badge, gun and handcuffs just like any other regular police officer. The only difference is they won’t be drawing a salary: Jones and Semon have pledged to volunteer at least 30 hours a month.

Both Jones and Semon have worked with the city’s auxiliary police department, helping direct traffic, provide security at concerts and other duties.

Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark said both men went through the same rigorous background check and hiring process that any full-time paid officer would go through.

And just like other police recruits, Jones and Semon will have to undergo Field Officer Training where they must work directly with a special training supervisor for a period of time before they are allowed to patrol on their own, Clark said.
Clark, speaking to the City Council Thursday night before Jones and Semon were sworn in, said he was very proud of their achievement.
Clark described both men as “tireless workers” and noted their active participation with the department’s auxiliary police division.

Jones is a national sales executive for Canon USA, working with Fortune 500 companies on a regular basis. He said he sought the volunteer position “because I want to give back to the community.”

Semon, a part-time Publix employee who is otherwise retired from Delta Air Lines, has the same motive.

“I still like the city and I want to keep it the way it is,” Semon said.

Both men have served with the city’s auxiliary police division: Semon for six years and Jones for three years. Both also graduated from the department’s Citizen Police Academy and Jones was a graduate of the department’s first-ever Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) class.

Clark said the department will work within each officer’s schedule to assign duties as needed, though Jones and Semon will be available to patrol, work traffic, provide security in court and any other duties.

Another reserve officer will be sworn in soon with another several in line for the near future, Clark said. The only cost to the department is in terms of equipment, uniforms and the like, Clark noted.

The department has been working on the project for a year, Clark noted.

Clark said the reserve police officer program may turn into a great way to expose potential recruits to policing in Peachtree City.

Anyone interested in the reserve police officer program should contact Lt. Mark Brown at markbrown@peachtree-city.org.

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