Citizen Urges Chief Lawson To Reconsider Auxiliary Police Option

auxiliary police badgeDear Editor,
I just read your post containing Chief Lawson’s response to the idea of an auxiliary police force. The chief’s response seemed to be conclusive that an auxiliary police force would be a liability to the town. And that these officers “are generally not well trained, and would be a TREMENDOUS liability to the town. (Emphasis added).

With all due respect, the chief’s response seemed off the cuff and did not contain any substance.
First, auxiliary police departments are effectively utilized all over the country, and in many municipalities in NJ in particular. They are not viewed as a liability. Or as a tremendous liability. To the contrary, they are viewed as an asset. It is puzzling why Lakewood is different than any other municipality. Further, the chief failed to provide any explanation to his theory.

Second, the chief said that these auxiliary officers are generally not well trained. I would be curious to know what the source of that information is. And if it is true that auxiliary officers are generally not well trained, a simple solution is to make sure that in Lakewood, the auxiliary police officers ARE well trained. I’m sure a well qualified chief could oversee the training.

Last, if I properly understood the role of an auxiliary police officer, it is a very passive role. The role of an auxiliary police officer is to assist in traffic control, and to supplement the police presence of the department. The role of an auxiliary police officer is NOT to get involved in dangerous activity that could potentially result in liability. If auxiliary police officers would be properly trained, and they would take their job serious, it hardly seems like that they would be a liability, let alone a tremendous liability.

Particularly in Lakewood, where crime is so high, it would seem prudent to reinstate an auxiliary police department that would be an asset to our overloaded, underfunded, police department.

I would humbly urge Chief Lawson to reconsider his decision, and at least seriously consider the benefits an auxiliary police department may provide our community.

Thank you.

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  1. the liability is that this town is full of hockers and even with an auxillary police forxw of 50, 1 hocker will do something stupid and cause a terrible situation for LPD. That is why he does not want this program.

  2. Perhaps posters 1 and 2 are totally missing the boat.
    An auxiliary police department is not merely a way to get free traffic control. An efectice auxiliary police department bolsters the presence of the police department. The auxiliary officers patrol in MARKED vehicles thereby creating the image that the police are all over the town all the time. And of course they are the eyes and the ears of the police department.
    The LCSW is only capabale of being eyes and ears. They are presently NOT CAPABLE of bolstering the police image as they drive in unmarked vehicles. And the there is less of a draw to join the LCSW than an official auxiliary police department. I’m convinced that an auxiliary police department would draw at least 3 times as many volunteers than the LCSW is capable of drawing.

  3. If I didn’t know better, I would guess that our community is not wanted in the police department. The way people are commenting suggests that an auxiliary police department is fine elsewhere. But in lakewood, our jewish community will inevitably do something stupid and create tremendous liability to our town.

    This line of thinking would not fly elsewhere.
    For shame.
    Oh, and stand your ground chief. Seems stylish to say that.

  4. Don’t be pressured by those who have no clue about law enforcement , stand your ground on this issue,the last thing lakewood needs is some make believe cops

  5. Why does the cheif have authoruity over this matter?. This matter should be decided and debated by the elected township officials. Even mr lawson claims that the issue is TOWNSHIP liability. The tax payers should sit on their hands while violent crime is on the rise?

  6. could it be chief said no because they would be taking jobs away from cops?
    but in reality we have officers who do traffic and are getting paid 100k a year its like hiring (paying) a dr to be a secreatery

  7. TO #1: “We have an auxiliary police now with no liability it’s called lcsw”

    LCSW are not even security guards- WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

  8. The Chief is saying volumes by not explaining himself.
    You see, unfortunately in this town we have a few bad eggs who try to ruin things for everyone else. The Chief knows this and he also knows that if he allows them to join the police force in any capacity, he is opening up a can of worms that this town just does not need.
    Stand your ground chief!

  9. #7 You are trying to make a bias case out of this. Why? What is your agenda? Seems like you’re just trying to stir up trouble. Maybe that’s why the Chief doesn’t want an aux police dept. As soon as someone doesn’t get his way, it becomes a bias issue.

  10. Grow up. It has nothing to do with not wanting the Jewish community in the police department. Lakewood is a dangerous town and the PD doesn’t need an inexperienced go better putting their life or anyone roses on the line trying to play cowboy Jewish or not Jewish

  11. Give it up people, the answer is NO!! If you want to fight crime then take the test and become a full Police Officer and help your community out by protecting it for 25 – 30 years just like all of the other wonderful Police Officers that we have or had out on the streets. There are more important issues to beat up and try to tackle then this whole auxiliary police thing that has been turned down multiple times leave the Chief alone so he can focus on the more important topics that really need to be addressed.

  12. I am not trying to make a bias case out of this. I am simply spelling out what the naysayers are saying on this forum. They are saying that while an auxiliary police department works in other municipalities, it will not work here in lakewood. And the reason is because our jewish community will act like cowboys or do something that will create tremendous liability.
    Now let me put this in very simple terms so you could possibly comprehend what I am trying to tell you. When other townships have auxiliary police departments and there are not complaints of tremendous liability, yet when there is a request for an auxiliary police department in a predominantly jewish town, the response is that “it will create a tremendous liability to the township,” absent a really valid explanation, it most definitely appears to be bias.
    I would also love if the chief could disclose how many police officer hours are spent doing work that would fall into the parameters of an auxiliary police officer. If the number is substantial, then perhaps the chief’s reasons against the auxiliary police department are not the product of bias.
    But then again, it is awfully rude to accuse the police chief of defrauding the taxpayers by intentionally not acting fiscally responsible. True, the chief’s failure to provide an explanation speaks worlds.

  13. The officers doing traffic are paid by the construction companies that do the work. It doesn’t matter what the chief says, people will always complain when someone does’t do what they want. And it doesn’t matter if you are jewish or not

  14. LCSW does a great job watching over Lakewood. I mean if they watch over Lakewood a quarter as much as they monitor the comments THEY allow onto TLS we’re already in great shape.
    Thanks so much to all the hardworking members of lcsw. What would the police do without you?

  15. Chief Lawson doesnt just make decisions off the Cuff and may not have had time to fully explain his responce to the author of the article.
    I think this entire article is disrespectful. We all know that these auxiliary police forces attract cop want a be’s. A few bad apples can cause alot of damage and endage the public. I beleive this was why the auxiliary police force was disbanded years ago.

  16. I came here from a town that effectively used Auxiliary Police. There is nothing inherently risky in the concept of Auxiliary Police. It is a matter of how they are selected, trained, and utilized. If Lakewood had a bad experience with such a program in the past, it would be wise to examine what the specific problems were and examine ways to avoid them.

    In my former town the auxiliary police were given some training (at an actual police training center) and their assigned tasks were carefully limited. Their presence and help at large-attendance events was valuable. Their presence as supplemental night patrols was valuable also.

    Nobody complained about municipal liability when my son, an auxiliary policeman on patrol one night, noticed a fire in a senior apartment complex, called in it, and then evacuated the elderly residents well before the fire department and the regular police arrived, and before any of those residents had an opportunity to suffer smoke inhalation or burns. The town gave him a commendation for this.

    You might of course consider that anyone driving by could accomplish the same task. If so, you don’t know seniors. If my son had burst into that apartment as a good-hearted civilian stranger banging on seniors’ doors, that would more likely have caused panic than engender compliance with an instruction of evacuation. The uniform, and the confidence that the uniform provides that the person seeking to pry you from your home is legitimate, makes the co-operation possible.

  17. All of you in favor of this “auxiliary police” are out of your minds. How many other towns have auxiliary police. Thats why we have paid police in this country of ours. The last thing you want is someone other than an officer trying to arrest or detain someone. Next thing you know somebody gets hurt or killed and they sue the police dept. Why dont you just police yourself thats what you want anyway. And no dont send it to the township committee cause they’ll just vote in favor or who put them in office. And we all know who that is. This town is on it’s way to bankruptcy anyway, your just helping it along.

  18. The police department has no money so they have to lay off fully trained officers. Now let’s go take money from the department for part time cops while fully trained officers are getting laid off. Brilliant.

  19. #7/19
    You seem a little paranoid, and also self-centered. When I think of Lakewood, I don’t think of a Jewish town. I think of a town that has a good portion of Jewish residents, a few other white, non-Jewish residents, a LOT of illegal hispanics, and a LOT of minority/low income residents. Honestly, if the auxiliary police department was a cross-section of the actual adult demographic in Lakewood, there would be a couple of non-Jewish white guys (who wanted to be cops and didn’t make it onto the force), some Jews, some illegal immigrants, and some gangsters with saggy pants. Gee, now that I’ve written that, it looks like the Jews are the only ones who aren’t a tremendous liability, but it would be discrimination and BIAS to keep the other portions of the demographic out of the auxiliary police.

  20. “Particularly in Lakewood, where crime is so high”

    Yes crime is so high because-

    I leave my car door unlocked all hours of the day with valuables inside.
    I often leave my home unlocked while I run errands.
    I don’t lock my shed and I leave valuable out in the yard.
    I don’t tell my neighbor to keep an eye on home when I go away and forget to leave lights on a timers to give the house the occupied look.
    I never asked my cleaning person for references and get a simple background check completed.
    I leave large amounts of money and jewelry in my home at all times.
    I flaunt that I’m well off so that others can see it.
    The alarm system is never on.
    I never ran a background check on my tenants because they pay in cash and I don’t live close by so who cares what they do as long as the cash is there at the end of the month. HUD will take care of the damage. Get the idea?

    It all starts you the person in the mirror, no one else can help you if you don’t help your self.

    The police can not be every where, nor could an aux police officer, and the town can’t afford a light on every pole.

    In many instances you can reduce your risk in becoming a victim of crime by just following the simple steps that deter a criminal

    a simple neighborhood watch in each area is great way to help reduce crime as well as residents taking their own preventative measures at home. Is it fool proof, NO, but I think its a good start and it COST NOTHING .

    We don’t need to expand government or raise taxes by sending folks to costly training and purchasing more liability insurance, when all they do is get a new badge and ride around and call the cops when they see something – I can do that for nothing by just being aware of my surrounding and looking out for my own neighborhood

    Take responsibility for your own safety, It starts with the person in the mirror and it cost nothing.

  21. It seems to be that many people have concerns & well intentioned ideas here for this town, however, more than a few are expressing reservations regarding the return of the Auxiliary Police,
    I think that every resident wants Lakewood to be the great town that it always has been & even better,
    Bickering needs to stop & prudent changes must occur,
    Politics aside, Lakewood is not presently the ideal community to reside in…
    Let’s not complain about our taxes, Let’s decide how we want our taxes utilized for services,
    Do we need more Police, EMS, Fire Dept, Public Works, Inspections Dept?
    Can we afford what we need?
    If not, what are our options?

  22. Hire more police. Period.
    We have enough people running all over with lights and sirens going.
    The chief is the chief for a reason, and no one in the PD would EVER support that idea.
    Its simple…….
    Hire more police.

  23. So for once the chief doesn’t jump at your beckoning call and he is wrong for that?? Get over it. You all don’t run the police dept as much as you think you do, its wrong with comments they don’t want us in the dept!! That’s outragous. They don’t ANYBODY who isn’t a REAL police officer in there. Someone always has to turn it into they don’t want “us”. What is us please define for me. And chief good for you to finally show “us” who is the real shot caller.

  24. The truth: The LPD and particular are very protective over their department jobs. Imagine if we did get highly trained and responsible volunteers, like 100 of them . I think we would realize that there is not a need for so many police officers after all and their would be cuts. I think that the auxiliry police would be looked at as a threat to their jobs. I can tell this from the defensive posters, usually those themselves LPD. Yes Chief and Dept you do an awesome job . But we tax payers are really hurting . Bad enough you don’t have Rachmonis (mercy) on us with the high tax rates ( part of that goes to the highest paid police in the state). On top of that its the TICKETS and the fines associated with that . We the people need a break. We are choking and can’t take it any longer . While you people enjoy high salaried , pensions, full healthcare, overtime pay, sick pay , dept raises and bonuses for ticket quotas . we the taxpayers just sit and suffer . if auxilary police won’t work, please come up with a way to lower our taxes GEVALT that means HELP in Yiddish

  25. A criminal sees a badge he dosent care what kind it is he is going to react. I may be even with gun fire. Where will that leave the town then? When the town had the auxiliary police there were a few who though they were real police. Not all be a few. You will have the same thing if you do it again. All it takes is one wacker to think he is super cop but could not pass the real class.

  26. I don’t know if you all realize this but there is NO MONEY in the budget for Auxiliary Police Officers. No money for new active officers and no money for Auxiliary ones either. Where do you suppose we get the money for their uniforms, cars for them to drive, staffing for them to have a place to put their stuff. In the past it was better but now there are just too many variables to take on a semi volunteer force of people.

  27. quote”If I didn’t know better, I would guess that our community is not wanted in the police department. ”
    WHAT?? first of all they are talking about laying off officers and if they were hiring just take the test and go thruough the training that is required like anyone else has to do…………………………

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