There are as yet no plans to call in the Police Reserves despite the escalation in gun violence at the weekend.   Although the Island was facing "desperate times" the Governor had not yet called the 70-strong force to duty.  If such an embodiment were to take place, volunteers would leave their jobs temporarily to work and be paid as full-time Police officers
 

However, "The Police will work until they say, 'we're stretched', and that's where we will come in. But they are not at that point of fatigue at the moment.  "I am very proud of the Bermuda Police Service. They don't waste resources and do a very good job of managing what they have."  The Commandant however, called on the community to support the Bermuda Police Service in finding those responsible for the latest shootings.  Three men and a teenage girl were shot during the Easter weekend, bringing the tally of firearms incidents this year to 43, compared to 92 for all of 2009.  Among the victims, 35-year-old Kimwandae Walker was killed in front of his children at a Good Friday family fun day.

 "Bermuda has the makings of a world-class Police service. What it lacks though is the world-class support of the people of Bermuda.  "We are in desperate times and we need that support right now, so please pick up the phone and tell us what is going on in your neighbourhood. In such a close-knit community it is "fear" that sometimes prevents people from coming forward, fearing they will be identified as the person who "spilled the beans".   That was changing however. "I have noticed a marked change in the attitude of the Bermudian public within recent months. There are more people coming forward and standing up and saying 'enough is enough'. Information is coming forward."

Mr. Lewis, who has been a serving officer in the reserves for 31 years, retires next month. There are currently 70 reserves who occupy a variety of professions, from electricians to shopkeepers, to lawyers. Consisting of 90 percent Bermudians, the average age is 42 but anyone between 19 and 55 who is physically fit can apply. Entry qualifications and subsequent training are the same for joining the Bermuda Police Service. Application forms are available from any Police station and voluntary service can last between three and eight years.   Although there is capacity for 184 Reserves, Mr. Lewis said the ideal number at the moment would be 120. Reserves are required to complete 13.5 hours' duty a month, totalling 150 hours a year.  After this number an officer is entitled to claim a 'bounty', equivalent to $1,600 for a Police Constable. But Mr. Lewis said most of his officers do "three or four times that amount" for no extra money.  "I'm very proud of my Bermuda Reserve Police Officers. They are very dedicated officers," he said.   Most people join the reserves "to give something back to the community".   "We perform our duties in all the areas of the Bermuda Police Service where you see a uniformed officer.  You will find us on general foot patrol, in Police cars and bikes, and on the water with the Marine section.  "We handle a very varied call to service from the public, from altercations in the street to a more urgent call for assistance from a member of the public or a fellow officer.   "Sometimes you will see us at large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and parades. We also deal with traffic flow duties and finding lost persons, or simply keep the peace by our very presence."  But it can get dramatic from time to time."

The reserves were deployed to "guard" the crime scene and also King Edward VII Memorial Hospital when 21-year-old Jah-Lario Samuels-Dill was shot and injured in Glebe Road, Pembroke, on October 31. "Unfortunately these kinds of rapid deployments are happening all too frequently at the moment," said Mr. Lewis.  On March 13 the reserves also assisted when a 16-year-old from Warwick was shot at a party at BermudaCollege. They took down the details and registration numbers of vehicles in the vicinity.

The reserves are also trained in problem-oriented policing (POP) and work with community action teams (CATs). A recent success has been reducing the numbers of late-night fights outside Ice Queen in Paget.  But Mr. Lewis said whenever the Police need support, the reserves will be there.  "When the Police get stretched in one area we fill in in another. This means uniformed officers can be put into more investigative areas."