Most people that aren't law enforcement officers try to avoid ending up in a squad car.
James Brozik on the other hand volunteers to do so. He sticks to the front seat though.
Brozik doesn't have a uniform or badge, but that doesn't stop him from getting behind the wheel of the squad vehicles. That is because he is one of over a dozen volunteer drivers for Mankato Public Safety.
Deputy Director Trudy Kunkel says, "They come in now everyday at 7 am, shuttle to our city garage for maintenance or over to where we get our radios repaired or maybe up to Mankato Ford."
Brozik jokingly says, "And then of course you really have to watch our speed as you go to because the public might see you driving."
The volunteer driving program started as a way to save the department both time and money.
Kunkel says, "We found that at 7:00 in the morning when we need to shuttle we just don't have the resources here officers are busy on calls or working in school zones."
Brozik heard about the need and thought why not.
Brozik says, "The idea that you are doing something worth while with your time instead of just working around the house."
He is also no stranger to law enforcement; his daughter has worked at the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department for over 25 years.
"She thought it was pretty cool," says Brozik.
Brozik says he never thought about going in to law enforcement himself, but he has enjoyed doing a bit of police work during retirement.
Brozik says, "I enjoy it."
Volunteers are being sought for the city'sCommunity Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT volunteers provide critical assistance needed in the case of a disaster such as a flood or tornado and assist during large city events. Applications are also being accepted for reserve police officers, who help enhance quality of life by assisting with emergency calls, taking part in foot, park and trail patrols, helping with community events, directing traffic and working with technology.
Public safety staff look for ways to grow volunteer efforts and are considering opportunities such as vacation house watches and conducting neighborhood patrol, to name a few. Residents interested in volunteering in public safety may contact Trudy Kunkel, deputy director, at 507-387-8792.