As the Mexican earthquake becomes the latest natural disaster to hit the Western Hemisphere, the role of civil society — especially the first responders — has demonstrated the best of human nature.
There are an estimated 400,000 reserve police officers – volunteer cops – in the US, according to an FBI study. A major rationale for the reserve programs is to provide extra manpower for budget-strapped police departments.
By the thousands, volunteers across the United States sign up to assist their local law enforcement agencies as reserve police officers and sheriff's deputies. Most perform routine duties in unpaid anonymity. A few become known as heroes or rogues. Among that vast contingent of reservists was Robert Bates, a 73-year-old insurance executive, who