The Manchester Township Police Department last week announced that six new Auxiliary Police Officers took their oaths during a ceremony in the Municipal Complex Civic Center. These Auxiliary Police Officers were sworn in to their volunteer positions before Chief Lisa Parker, other Manchester Township Police Officers, and their friends and family.
Lakewood years ago had the program, but it was abandoned under a previous chief. As exclusively reported in 2011, Chief Lawson stated he would not allow the program to come back to Lakewood under his watch.
I will not allow it, period,”Police Chief Rob Lawson told TLS back then. “We used to have it, and it did not work I Will not have it reinstated,” he said.
The primary concern, said Lawson, would be the liability to the town. “Generally, these officers are not well trained, and would be a tremendous liability to the township.”
The officers in Manchester completed approximately 50 hours of training and will begin field training by current Auxiliary Police officers. While the State of New Jersey requires only 36 hours of training for Auxiliary Officers, Manchester far exceeded the State minimum requirement.
“As an Auxiliary Officer in Manchester Township, you’ll have the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the best Police Officers in the State,” said Chief Lisa Parker, who also commended the recruits for volunteering their time to better their community. “This is a great accomplishment for all of you. Today is a proud day.”
The graduation of this class marks the third time the Manchester Township Police Department has conducted an in-house basic Auxiliary Police Academy. This volunteer arm of the police department assists with non-enforcement type activities such as crowd control at events, courtroom security and general uniformed patrols throughout the Township. Additionally, the unit is activated to assist the Manchester Police during severe weather and declared State of Emergencies.
The Auxiliary Officers were trained in different subject areas ranging from patrol functions, traffic control, police vehicle operations, crowd control, criminal law, preservation of evidence, court operations, first aid, CPR, police radio communications, use of force, domestic violence, report writing, and police ethics, just to name a few.
The process for these six Auxiliary Officers began in December of 2015 when applications were made available to the public. The selection process and standards to become an Auxiliary Officer are similar to that of a regular police officer. The candidates passed a rigorous background check as well. All auxiliary officers are held to the highest standards consistent with that of the Manchester Township Police Department.
Should Lakewood reconsider bringing back the program?
The Lakewood Police Department always complains that they are understaffed. This would be a no-brainer as our officers are constantly busy with these light-duty stuff. It would allow the police Department to focus on more serious stuff. Additionally this will help us keep our taxes down as the police department is the biggest expense in the Township’s portion of our property tax rate and the officers are getting paid a lot of overtime due to the shortage of manpower. Chief Lawson should seriously reconsider and it’s a shame if he doesn’t give it a shot.
We have the program its called chaverim and lcsw
Joe shmoe his is totally different. The Auxiliary police can do real police duties (as mentioned in the article – paper work, watch command etc.). All those things take up the officers time and prevent them from focusing on more serious issues.
Why dont you trust our police cheif he has proven to be looking out for the best of the township. If he says no why are you even debating this.
Manchester IS NOT Lakewood. Apples and Oranges. Nothing further to say…
Friend, did you read the article? The chief said it didn’t work due to the auxiliary officers having poor training. TLS recommended copying Manchester’s structure of going above and beyond the required training. This would be an initial strain on the police department but will prove to be beneficial as we will have this valuable asset for the town and pd.
I think the volunteer spirit is very noble.
It already exists in the fire/ems community.
If there are folks willing to give their time and talent, let them.
Just make sure they are properly trained and protected against nuisance lawsuits.
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