BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — A local sheriff’s office and police department put the focus on reserve officers, today (Saturday).

The “Back the Badge” benefit helps to raise funds for both the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Officers and the Baxter Springs Police Department Reserve Officers.

Today, both departments set up shop cooking 400 pounds of barbecue meat.

These volunteers donate their time serving their communities and help fill in any gaps for local law enforcement.

They’re responsible for paying for their own training and equipment — and that equipment alone can cost around $1,500.

“The Reserve Departments play a very vital role in Law Enforcement in this county because where a lot of times, they’re limited on officers, along with many communities around us. And those reserve officers, a lot of times, help take off the load of the regular officers during a normal workday,” said Cory Moates, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Reserves Commander.

“I really wanted to help serve my community. It’s been a big part of my life for the past 14 years. I’ve been here that long. In doing that, I just enjoy being able to help,” said Trent Faulkner, Lieutenant Reserve Officer, Baxter Springs Police Department.

Many of the reserve officers started cooking the barbecue at 2 p.m. in the afternoon yesterday and stayed all through the night, making sure it was cooked to perfection.