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Original Reserve Officers who started the program are Lt. Jim Roberts, from left, Sgt. Brock Prescott and Capt. Curtis Potts. Also shown are current Reserve Officers Jeremy Gibbs, Gerome Burrell, Brandon Daughtry, Brian Mitchell, Cory Wright and Jeff Nguyen. CONTRIBUTED

City recognizes Reserve Officers for Madison Police Department

MADISON – Current and charter Reserve Officers for Madison Police Department have volunteered for the last 11 years. The city recently recognized these individuals for their contributions to the department.

The department organized the reserves 11 years ago, and 14 members have served during that time. “We attended a 14-week reserve academy, as well as later attending required in-service training and qualifications with full-time sworn officers,” Cory Wright said. Wright teaches social sciences at Bob Jones High School and volunteered for five years as a Reserve Officer.

“During the last 11 years, more than a dozen reserve officers have volunteered thousands of hours,” Wright said. “Unfortunately, the program recently came to an end, but I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve the last five years with such a great group of individuals.”

Each member of the reserves received a plaque recognizing years of volunteer service. “I was in the most recent class of reserves five years ago, but previous classes served even longer,” Wright said. “We were especially glad that the original class of reserve officers was invited to come back for the ceremony (after) starting the program.”

Serving as a reserve officer “was a tremendous learning experience. I made friendships that will last forever,” Wright said. “I’m definitely going to miss it.”

Wright’s interest in the reserves and friendships with several School Resource Officers at Bob Jones led him to apply to the reserve program. For his Advanced Placement U.S. Government class, Wright asked SROs to talk to students about civil liberties, 4th Amendment / Search and Seizure and famous Supreme Court cases about law enforcement, such as Miranda vs. Arizona.

The Reserve Program’s main role was assisting with special events, such as the Drug Take Back, Madison Street Festival, 4th of July fireworks, parades, road races, sports and school- and community-related events.

Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in education from University of North Alabama and a master’s degree in history from University of Mississippi. After completing his master’s degree in 2004, Wright immediately started teaching at Bob Jones. “This is my 18th year teaching and coaching the golf team at Bob Jones. My friends and fellow teachers at Bob Jones are practically family.”

His wife, Molly Wright, teaches at Horizon Elementary School. The Wrights’ two daughters attend Horizon and Discovery Middle School.

“The last few years have been difficult for law enforcement across the country, but seeing firsthand the dedication of Madison Police Department officers gives you a different perspective on the challenges they face trying to do a sometimes difficult job with honor,” Wright said. “I am fortunate to call many of them friends.”

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