Sheriff's OfficeThomas Bensley, Sheriff
Nathan Alger, Undersheriff
851 Woodmere Ave
Traverse City, MI, 49686
In 1963 a group called the Grand Traverse Mounted Patrol was formed and at that time consisted of six to eight members. The group was formed to aid and assist the Sheriff's Office as well as the community. The main function of the group was to help in land searches for lost people and to aid in crowd control at several community functions. Each member, at that time, was required to own a horse and trailer and was responsible for buying their own equipment. Training was supplied by the Sheriff's Office. The Mounted Patrol was in service until 1979.
In 1979 the Sheriff recognized the need for a highly trained and reliable reserve force. The first Reserve Unit was formed at that time, consisting of 22 members. These reserve deputies were trained in all phases of law enforcement . The unit was deputized under the direction of the Sheriff and still is today. The unit, as of this date, consists of 15 deputies. Funding for the Reserve Unit comes from appropriations from the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners and are supplemented by various donations from some of the details worked by Reserve Deputies. An annual budget is planned and implemented by the Sheriff and the command officers for uniforms and equipment, as each deputy must meet the dress and uniform code of the Sheriff's Office.
The Reserve Unit donates approximately 2000 working hours in the community annually. These hours are derived from such activities as the VASA Race, National Cherry Festival, Grand Traverse Mall details, and various community projects. Other services provided by the Reserve Unit is assisting Road Patrol, Marine Patrol, and the Correctional Division at the Sheriff's Office.
The Reserve Unit acts as a backup to the regular Patrol Officers and are on call any time, day or night, 365 days per year, to assist the Sheriff's Office in any search and rescue, or any major disaster that may occur within Grand Traverse County. Anyone with questions about the Reserve Program or have an interest in becoming a Reserve Deputy can contact Sergeant Brandon Brinks at 231-922-4550.