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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 88« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Capt. Maurice Solomon James)

It is a semimilitary organization in that we call it the reserve platoon. It has three companies commanded by a captain. Each company has three platoons. And each platoon has three squads. There are approximately--it fluctuates just a little bit--but there are approximately 300 men in the organization.

Mr. Hubert.
Who is the reserve captain?
Mr. Solomon.
There are four reserve captains. Now, the reserve major is Major Tropolis, the major in command. We call him the reserve commander. He is George Tropolis.
Mr. Hubert.
Who are the captains?
Mr. Solomon.
The captains are J. E. Marks, C. O. Arnett--I believe you talked to him last night--L.C. Crump and O. S. Muller.
Mr. Hubert.
Do these men train at regular intervals?
Mr. Solomon.
Yes, sir. They are all required to go through a training program of about 72 hours. They do that 1 night a week. Takes about 8 months to complete that before they are used in any way, before they are given a uniform or anything of that nature. After they complete this training, they are outfitted with a uniform at their own expense, and from then on the participation that they do is considered observation training.
In other words, there is a program set up whereby they report at least two times a month. We have it set up twice a month, and mandatory that they come every third month. If they don't we drop them.
But each reserve is required to report at least once a month for observation training. He can do this in a squad car, in the jail office, or dispatcher's office, or in any phase of the police operation, really, and he is in uniform, and he works right alongside the regular officer and just assists him in his work in anything he wants him to do if he has a belligerent prisoner, but still that is considered observation training.
Here in the last year or so, we have been using our reserves more maybe like an auxiliary, but there have been times such as a parade or football parade in other words, it wasn't an extreme emergency, but it was an event that we realized we needed more manpower, and they were anxious and willing and eager to help us, and they were being in uniform and were doing a good job. You want me to continue ?
Mr. Hubert.
Do these men get any pay for this ?
Mr. Solomon.
No. There is no pay at all.
Mr. Hubert.
As a matter of fact, they buy their own pistol and uniform ?
Mr. Solomon.
Yes. They buy their own initial uniform. After that their uniforms are maintained with the old uniforms that the regular officers outgrow or something like that.
Mr. Hubert.
I gather from what you have said that you are rather strict as to the training program that these people must observe, otherwise you drop them ?
Mr. Solomon.
Mr. Hubert.
What about the basic selection of these people? How do you go about that? What are the criteria you use to select them?
Mr. Solomon.
We have just an application form similar to what anybody would fill out in applying for a job, which is for their background, their schooling, what type of work they have been engaged in, where they have lived, and so forth. Then, of course, I submit that application to our personnel bureau which runs a background check on them, criminal and civil, or any court record they might have that might show their emotional stability or we run a credit check on them for bad debts or something like that, that kind of indication that they are not stable. And traffic arrests. If it is somebody out of the ordinary, why we are kind of strict along that score. I have these reserve captains that I just mentioned that comprise the reserve staff, and each applicant I get after the personnel board submits their findings, they interview the men, and they have some information to go on there, and whether he is accepted to go to school. After they interview him and ask him questions about trying to feel out if they think he is emotionally suited for that kind of work.
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