Urban Auxiliary Police Force Back to Menu Of Solutions

Increase police visibility and improve public safety with relatively little cost

Municipalities can establish Auxiliary Police Forces comprised of volunteer citizens that will be trained to perform tasks in conjunction with the police department. This will increase the visibility of the police force, which can result in a decrease in crime. Also, the municipality can save money on overtime pay by utilizing the Auxiliary Police Force at certain events for security instead of paying officers to be there. Since the Auxiliary Police will be comprised of local citizens, a stronger connection between the police department and the local community can be built, leading to a more cooperative relationship.

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POLICY MEMO: Establishing an Auxiliary Police Force

The creation and utilization of an Auxiliary Police Force can help provide extra support for local law enforcement, and create a better relationship between the community and the police. Auxiliary Police can be effective tools in cases of emergency, and can be used in public events to aid in crowd and traffic control. By using Auxiliary Police in public events, the city or town can save money on police overtime, which will allow them to retain more police officers on staff in the long run. Furthermore, Auxiliary Police forces provide job training that can be used for people looking for jobs in security and law enforcement. Establishing a strong Auxiliary Police Force can be a vehicle enhancing public safety and community relations. 

Auxiliary Police are most useful in times of emergency. It is important that each city or town have the necessary support in place to respond to emergencies. Auxiliary Police can be used to provide aid to the police department in different types of emergencies. Auxiliary Police can help keep people organized and respond to problems that regular police officers may not be able to prioritize. The extra police presence may also prevent looting and violence depending on the type of emergency. With ongoing training, Auxiliary Police can be an affordable way to enhance a municipality‚Äôs preparedness in cases of emergency. As part of their ongoing training, Auxiliary Police can be effective tools at public events. Auxiliary Police provide the extra police presence necessary to control large crowds of people and keep the peace. The extra bodies make it more likely that the police can provide a quick response to emergencies and altercations. Furthermore, they can be used to control the flow of traffic, providing better safety for motorists and pedestrians in crowded events. 

Because Auxiliary Police are volunteers, the city or town can save money that can be better spent in retaining police officers. The money saved by using Auxiliary Police can save police jobs in the long run. As cities and towns lose money due to an uncertain economy, many state services and public sector jobs have been, or will be, cut. When municipalities utilize police for public events, they pay a significant amount of money on overtime. At a time when cities have cut hundreds of police jobs due to the economy, that extra money spent on overtime could be better spent on retaining fully trained police and keeping the city or town safe. By using Auxiliary Police, our towns ultimately save money in the long run to retain much needed police officers. Auxiliary Police provide an outlet for the police to connect with the community. Auxiliary Police are made up of volunteers from the community, which can foster a connection with community members and police officers. The Auxiliary Police Force also provides training that can be used for applying to security and law enforcement-related jobs, providing an additional service to the community. A strong Auxiliary Police program can help bridge the gap between the police and the people they are charged with serving.

MODEL ORDINANCE CREATING AN AUXILIARY POLICE FORCE

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.10 provides for the appointment of Special Police (hereinafter Auxiliary Police) by municipalities to augment the forces of the regular police department in the event of unusual or emergency circumstances; and

NOW, THERFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF (Municipality):

Section 1: Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.10 et seq., there is hereby created within (Municipality), a class one Volunteer Auxiliary Police Unit. The Governing Body of (Municipality) may appoint Auxiliary Police for terms not exceeding one (1) year and may revoke such appointments for four months or less without cause or hearing. Auxiliary Police shall be under the control and supervision of the Chief of Police of (Municipality).

Section 2: APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATIONS

A. No person shall be appointed by the Board of Police Commissioners or appropriate

authority established by law as a member of the Auxiliary Police unless:

1. The appointee is a resident of the State during the term of appointment;

2. The appointee is a resident of (Municipality);

3. The appointee is able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently and has a high school diploma or its equivalent;

4. The appointee is sound in body of good health;

5. The appointee is of good moral character;

6. The appointee has not been convicted of any offense involving dishonesty or which would make him/her unfit to perform the duties of his/her office;

7. The appointee has successfully undergone the same psychological testing that is required of all full-time police officers in the municipality or, has successfully undergone a program of psychological testing approved by the Commission;

B. The Auxiliary Police shall not carry or be issued firearms or other similar weapons.

C. Every applicant for the position of Auxiliary Police who is appointed shall have fingerprints taken, which fingerprints shall be filed with the Division of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

D. Auxiliary Police shall comply with the rules and regulations applicable to the conduct and decorum of the regular police within the municipality.

E. No person shall be appointed to serve as an Auxiliary Police officer in more than one local unit at the same time, nor shall any permanent regularly appointed full-time police officer of (Municipality) be appointed as an Auxiliary Police officer in any local unit. No public official with responsibility for setting law enforcement policy or exercising authority over the budget of (Municipality) or supervision of the police department of (Municipality) shall be appointed as an Auxiliary Police officer.

F. Before any Auxiliary Police officer is appointed, the Chief of Police, or, in the absence of the Chief, the designee of the Chief of Police shall ascertain the eligibility and qualifications for the applicant and report these determinations in writing to the appointed authority.

G. Any person who at any time prior to appointment had served as a duly qualified, fully-trained, full-time officer in any municipality of this State and who was separated from that prior service in good standing, shall be eligible to serve as an Auxiliary Police officer.

Section 3: POWERS AND DUTIES

A. The duties of the Auxiliary Police shall include but not be limited to service to the (Municipality) with regard to special events, or functions and traffic control. In addition, duly appointed regular Auxiliary Police shall have all the powers of on duty regular police officers at the following times only:

1. During any emergency, as defined in N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33 et seq., as amended and supplemented.

2. During any practice, drill or activity in preparation for such emergency duly authorized by the State Civilian Defense Director.

3. While actually engaged in training while attached to the Police Department.

Section 4: TRAINING UNDER THE POLICE DEPARTMENT

The Auxiliary Police are hereby attached to the (Municipality) Police Department for the purpose of training. During the period of time that the Auxiliary Police are attached to the Police Department they shall be under the supervision of the Chief of Police.

Section 5: If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance shall be adjudged invalid for any reason whatsoever, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof which shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 6: That all other ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict or inconsistent with the ordinance are hereby repealed, but only to the extent of such conflict or inconsistency.

Section 7: That this ordinance shall take effect after final passage and upon expiration twenty (20) days following publication unless otherwise provided by resolution of this Governing Body.