Police Chief Rob Lawson On Auxiliary Police Officers: I Will Not Allow It, Period

chief lawson podium tlsEXCLUSIVE: With the recent police retirements and the department being faced with potential layoffs, many have been mulling and suggesting the idea of re-instating Auxiliary (volunteer) police officers. Auxiliary Police Officers are used for special events, traffic control, and to supplement the police presence of the department.

Many claimed the officers would alleviate pressure from the LPD by assisting with more of the minor offenses, giving police the ability for a quicker response time and availability.

However, that will not be happening in this town, not as long as Police Chief Rob Lawson is Chief.

“I will not allow it, period”, Police Chief Rob Lawson tells TLS. “We used to have it, and it did not work”. “I Will not have it re-instated”, he said.

The Auxiliary officers were disbanded under a previous Chief.

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 Chief explained.

“Besides, we have a tremendous outpouring of volunteers in this town which do a fantastic job”, Lawson said. “During the storm for example, when we needed certain streets blocked off, we called on Chaveirim”.

In New Jersey there is a recognized position known as the Special Officer. They have less training than regular officers but do possess certain police powers. There is the Special Officer Class I and Class II. The Class I Special Officer goes through several weeks of training and is trained in motor vehicle laws, first aid, criminal law, use of force and other basic areas. He or she will generally be utilized for parking and traffic enforcement or to supplement a police presence in a certain area. Class I Special Officers do not carry firearms and have limited law enforcement powers.

The Class II Special Officer goes through several months of training, and is given all of the training listed above plus much of the training given to a regular police officer including firearms training. The Special Officer Class II has full police powers but only while on duty.

“If someone is that interested in becoming a cop, let them sign up to become a Class I or Class II officer”, Lawson said. TLS.

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  1. Mr. Lawson is a smart man. I trust him. He may sound too strict at first, but in the long run he’s going to be proven correct. Let’s stick with him.

  2. Why no mention of the LCSW volunteers? All I’ve been hearing about is Chaveirim during this storm. What happened guys, rubbed the chief the wrong way or were you guys just sleeping through the storm? I’d think the LPD would call on the highly qualified members of the lcsw to “block streets”.

  3. mr chief, you allow LCSW to roam the streets with ZERO training aside from basic first aid…..

    ….but you wont allow real officers with training from the police academy to do the limited work they are TRAINED to do?

    -something doesn’t make sense here. AUXILIARY work very well in most of the country. Maryland has them on full-time patrol. California, Arizona, new Mexico, Florida use them 24/7- and little Lakewood will cause that much more of a liability?

  4. The chief is right, aux police would be too much of a liability. This town needs to keep the police they already have, hire more and NOT lay off, instead of trying to put a bandaid on a gunshot wound with part time ticket writers and crossing guards.

  5. Mr Conservative, The LCSW is not affiliated with the town so the town isn’t on the hook if something goes wrong. Besides that, they don’t have the money to pay the cops we already have, they can’t afford to train and hire an auxiliary force.

  6. I respect the Chief and trust him completely. He wants this town to work and be safe as much as the rest of us (if not more). I know that he has far more knowledge and experience than I do, and that’s why he has my confidence.

    After all, I am Always Right.

  7. Way to go chief ! And yes chaveirim deserve all the credit for the storm. And for those of u who keep saying “lcsw” let’s be real how much involved in the storm were they ? Yes give them credit for being on the lookout but let’s not make a mistake and make them police officers

  8. how is a police cheif elected? What is the lpd doing to combat violent crime? So far we have not heard any ideas from the lpd, they just reject any challenge to their power and do nothing to deal with the violent crime

  9. There you go again making up facts when you have no idea what you’re talking about. Since when does LCSW have basic training in first aid?
    Please stick to opinions on the virtues of dual headed talons and how nobody has ever died on your watch while you took your good ole’ time responding to fires.

  10. Mr. Conservative:
    LCSW has ZERO training in first aid. They happen to have one or two members who are also on Lakewood First Aid.
    As far as the comment earlier about lcsw being mentioned as “assisting alongside chaveirim”-check your facts. Lcsw was just barely mentioned in any public officials statements most notably,the chiefs. Yes,they were mentioned but didn’t get the same “coverage” chaveirim got. We all know the real reason why.

  11. while Lynch was wrong to disband the group back then, there is no need for reconstituting it today. The Chaveirim/LCSW/LPD relationship is a model for private-public cooperation and it serves the town better than the auxiliary alternative. The Chief is right, but the liability claim is old Lynch talk which is off the mark.

  12. Sometimes a see a police officer or two parked in his car all day at a constuction site or guiding traffic at a BMG event, why cant auxilory police do this. if they are not well trained, well train them . isnt it worth it? Please dont get me wrong Cheif Lawson does a fabulous job and I love the LPD they are professsional and curteous, but we need to start giving the poeple back some of their money and the unions, pensions and benefits are killing us

  13. Ah politics at its best. The chief says we have Chaveirem when we need them. Why when the police needed help in the storm did they call Chaveirim and not LCSW?? Chaveirim then went ahead and called LCSW for help. (moderated) Auxiliary Police Officers work around the contry and if the chief would not be so mighty he would realize that it is bad rep for his orginization doing such a bad job, accept the help from where you can and stop passing the buck that its the taxpayers trying to (moderated) him. These officers where just layed off now not a year ago when these things were going on. If we would work together let it be LCSW, Auxiliary Police Officers, or plain citizens trying to help we would be able to take this town back.

  14. Chief Lawson good to see you stand your ground , Aux Police not the solution to Lakewoods problems . We need more full time officers . Lakewood has grown population wise immensely and requires more officers not fewer .
    proud of the LPD !!!

  15. Way to go Chief! Stand your ground. We don’t need anymore cowboys running around this town. Please, do us a favor and reiterate the fact that we can’t combat crime like we used to be able to because of such a loss in man power. They want a more proactive approach, then you need more men and women. Keep up the good work Chief

  16. Can we get an update on the layoffs that are scheduled only days away?? first things first, before we start discussing what new services the town should or shouldn’t provide!

  17. Those officers you see at construction sites….BMG events… are OFF-DUTY officers. That means that regardless if Lakewood has an Auxiliary force or not, they will either be there or at home. They work those jobs for extra money and the town gets about half the revenues as well(I believe it’s about half). In any case we don’t have any fewer officers because of those officers doing traffic at these sites….

  18. Over the last three plus years Chief Lawson has done wonderful job. Listen to the professional law enforcement top officer and take his advise. With almost 30 years of law enforcement I think he knows best.

  19. you have want a beees right now on james and cross street blocking traffic—they do not belong to the fire dept. or police dept.—-do something about it

  20. to number 29 and 33: What makes you think that we don’t pay those off-duty police officers at road cunstruction sites? The “story” given is that the contractor pays them… Why do you buy that? These are township roads paid for with our tax dollar. If the contractor is required to hire off-duty officers to sit at these sites, the contractor includes that expense in his bid! The expense is passed on to the taxpayers. WE PAY FOR IT! Get rid of the off-duty officers at road work, and road work will be cheaper! Why does everyone keep on repeating this nonsense? And why do people buy it???

  21. Unions. Stop being afraid of the Auxiliary Police. And Unions: Please, stop pretendng you understand what the powers and authorities of entail. The statutes and directives of Attorneys General alike are absolutely clear. You cannot ignore these documents simply because you desire to. So tell the truth: an Auxiliary Cop doing the job he or she is legally empowered to do means one less cop up to his ears in the trough. That didn’t hurt too bad did it?

  22. Wow! Auxiliary officers can be hand picked by the department and trained as well as the department chooses to train them. Auxiliary could be retired officers who are already trained or college graduates who want to give back to the town. Auxiliary officers risk their lives every day in other towns to give back to their community. Chief Lawson, with his statements, belittled all auxiliary police officers and I, as an auxiliary officer, am offended.

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