Readers’ Scoop: What We Can Do To Help Lower Crime In Lakewood

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallThere seems to be a major problem in our town. Crime is on the rise. There are many break-ins, assaults and shootings. At the same time, our township is in serious financial trouble and is considering laying off several police officers. This seems to be a recipe for disaster. However, a relatively simple solution is available. Our municipality should form an auxiliary police unit.

Many municipalities in New Jersey have successfully implemented auxiliary police units. In Lakewood we have so many talented young people who would be more than willing to join an auxiliary police unit. Training is not costly nor lengthy. We also have so many police cars not in use that could easily be utilized by changing the decal on the car to “auxiliary Police unit”. Or we could buy Ford Escorts for $11,000 a piece. I believe that if the township would like to form an auxiliary police unit they could easily have at least 20 units patrolling the streets at any given time. There would be uniformed units in marked vehicles just circling the streets of Lakewood keeping us safe. There will be a strong message that Lakewood takes crime seriously and will do anything in its power to keep its citizens safe.

I have friends who have joined the New York Auxiliary Police Department. They told me that the training was easy and short. Auxiliary Police officers wear virtually the same uniform as regular officers, and are equipped with straight batons, bullet resistant vests, police radios directly linked to the Central Dispatcher, other Auxiliary officers, and regular officers; flashlights, whistles, handcuffs, and reflective traffic vests. Their badge is a seven point star, in contrast to the shield worn by regular officers.

Truth be told, one of my friends joined because he was tired of getting speeding tickets and wanted to be able to carry a badge. And the respect doesn’t hurt either. 

In a nutshell, it would be a volunteer unit, relatively cheap to maintain, and effective in maintaining a police presence, thereby deterring crime.

I spent a few minutes researching about auxiliary police departments in N.J.  and NY and here is some material I found.

Special Officers are used in many Township Police Departments in New Jersey and across the Country and have been very cost effective.

Special Officer
In New Jersey there is a recognized position known as the Special Officer. Special Officers are often utilized in beach communities as seasonal police officers. They have less training than regular officers but do possess certain police powers. The position can actually be broken down into two sub-parts. First, there is the Special Officer Class I. The Class I Special Officer goes through several weeks of training (depending on the structure of the training schedule) 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.

There is also the Special Officer Class II. The Class II Special Officer goes through several months of training, usually at night, 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.

Auxiliary Police Officer
In New Jersey there is also a recognized volunteer police officer position known as Auxiliary Police Officer. Generally, the agencies that do have such a program hold an in-house training school, and attendees are subject to a variety of training. In the field Auxiliary Police Officers are used for special events, traffic control, and to supplement the police presence of the department.

Not every agency has an auxiliary program, and the powers possessed by the officers in these programs range widely. Some actually carry weapons and go out on patrol while others are used strictly on a limited basis. It is a good way, however, to get some experience, but, more importantly, it allows prospective police officers to network with the law enforcement community and develop contacts which can be of great benefit in the future.

The NYPD ensures the safety of its Auxiliary Police officers by requiring that they not pursue dangerous situations, but rather to remove themselves from such danger immediately. During training, recruits are repeatedly told that their purpose is to be the “eyes and ears” of the Police Department, and they are not required to enforce the law unless absolutely necessary. Although they are equipped with batons and handcuffs, they are told that their most powerful weapon is the police radio, which allows them to call for back-up officers to the scene. In NY, Auxiliary Police officers are not issued, nor are permitted to carry firearms while on duty, even if they are licensed gun owners.

Role of the NY Auxiliary Police Officer

Auxiliary Police officers can:
Assist at accident and fire scenes
Assist with crowd control
Block off traffic at parades, accidents, fires, etc.
Perform traffic control at broken traffic lights, accidents, etc.
Make arrests when a crime (Felony) is committed in their presence or when directed by a Police Officer
Assist with vehicle or VIP escorts
Respond to low priority 911 calls but not allowed to transmit finalization summary codes to the dispatcher.
Give medical aid to anyone as long as they are trained to do so
Carry and use a police baton in the performance of their duties (NYS Penal Law 265.20 b.)
Carry and use handcuff restraints in the performance of their duties (NYC Administrative Code 10-147)

Auxiliary Police officers cannot:
Make arrests for crimes not committed in their presence unless directed to do so by a regular police officer or a police dispatcher. In 1991, the New York State Court of Appeals determined that Auxiliary Police officers are covered under the “fellow officer rule”, and may detain or arrest a person based on information from a dispatcher or police officer heard over a police radio or from a police officer in person.
Respond to calls involving any type of weapons or other life endangering conditions.
Carry a firearm.
Make traffic stops unless authorized to do so by competent police authority.
Issue summonses.

I’m wondering if anyone has any comments or suggestions.

Thank you very much!

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  1. The first thing that needs to be done, is to aknowledge that we have a problem. Enough of all the Kudos, and statistics, that crime is down. It is bogus. Crime is up big time in Lakewood.


  3. I like that idea then the Police can help to stop the Crosswalk and other issue like BMG parking and Lakewood street should stay clear.. There too many people out there are thinking about themself and not about others….Parking on Public Domin does not mean it yours but if you own a driveway don’t abuse it

  4. To nachi says:
    your Quote “has anyone considerd change in the lpd itself? Maybe we need to replace people who are not capable of addressing violent crime.’
    Ok I must address this statement ,if you are going to post things that are not a true solution to the problem ,but just show you are by nature just a negative person ,please do all of us who read these statments keep these comments to yourself they in no way are going to help resolve the issues that Lakewood has .The LPD does a fabulous job here in this town and it sounds like you have a personal adgenda against them ,always making derogitory comments

  5. If Lakewood is thinking of laying of 5 officers ,how would they now find the money to hire Aux officers ? They cannot combat real crime so their limited in scope as to what they can do and this is not a real solution

  6. You don’t exactly “hire” auxiliary police officers. They are unpaid volunteers. You do pay for a modicum of training, perhaps one full day at a police training center. I come from a town which regularly utilized auxiliary police and found them very effective. One of my sons was an auxiliary police officer, and received a commendation for evacuating some elderly residents from a burning building before the fire department and regular police were able to get there.

  7. Special officers in New Jersey must go through a Police Academy, the same as a sworn officer, the only difference being that (depending on the level, Special 1 or Special 2) the amount of courses given are lessened and there may be no firearms training. A special 2 is basically a cop while on duty. They enforce all laws and carry while on duty. A special 1 will enforce ordinances, parking problems, loud music, stuff of that nature. Auxillary police are summoned during large events to control parking and other aspects specific to large crowds gathering in one place. LPD has specials already and by definition, they could use auxiliary officers around every shul and yeshiva in town during operating hours.




  9. the great thing is that we won.t have to tie up 4 officers on every accident scene. They can also back up other officers when they give summonses at night. Great idea!!

  10. Why dont we just arm homeowners.Whenever someone trys to break in,we shoot them. In texas they dont have this problem.Its time we do things for ourselves and not depend on the so called “good lpd”

  11. Auxiliary Police Officers do have limited role in Police Work, Such as taking simple theft reports or conducting traffic ccrossing details, But not conducting any form of Patrol work. Lakewood in not a shore town with tourists. There are violent street gangs in Lakewood and many of their members carry firearms. Auxillary Officers in NY City no longer conduct patrols since two Auxillary officers were shot to death a few years ago. Any Police Officer driving in a marked patrol vehicle is a target and needs to be properly armed for their safety, the safety of fellow officers and the public. Positioning auxiliary officers on foot around a shul or yeshiva would be an example of some what safe use.
    Every additional set of eyes and ears help the trained Police Officer and that is why community watch groups came about.

  12. How would this work in Lakewood?
    Conceptually it is interesting but it quickly falls apart when you peel back the onion. We would have Frum / Yid’s S.O’s looking the other way when one of their own committed a violation the S.O. should enforce; or the LPD would besieged with complaints of anti-Semitism, harassment, etc. if, heaven forbid, a goy S.O. ticketed someone from the ‘community’. Doubt me? Just review the numerous posts complaining about tickets given to the members of the ‘community’ by the LPD. In towns other than Lakewood, the approach has merit. In Lakewood unless the S.O. is held to an “Observe and Report” functionality much like the volunteer group in place today it would be more of a burden than asset.

  13. rampant violent crime and you call it a fabulous job? I think your trying to keep your job! Its all PR , make the comunity feel good not police work.

  14. I agree with poster 16. As someone once said, “Sad but True.” Also what happens if an S.O. from the “community” notices their Rabbi doing something wrong? On the same note what happens if a Hispanic S.O. walks down clifton and sees a day laborer trying to get some work? even if the S.O. from the “community” or the Hispanic S.O. wanted to do/say something, they would be thrown under the bus by their repective communities.. I’m not trying to stir the pot but I don’t thik this is a good idea…

  15. I agree with #16. And from what the writer of the article states, his friend became an AO because he was always speeding and he was tired of getting tickets. So what? Now his friend speeds around and can speed without fear of getting a ticket? In any other town this might work. In Lakewood I think it would frustrate the police even more and cause more trouble then it would be worth. This is a town where many people feel they have privilege and should not have to suffer tickets. It would be a disaster.

  16. If all you are looking for is an extra set of eyes and ears you already have that, it’s called LCSW that is nothing but complained about, calling them by a different name will do what?

  17. Forget not about mace and other forms of legal protection. Get yourself a permit to carry a fire arm. Become your own police man. Learn marshal arts. Be alert. Install cameras around your home and business. Be proactive. Get my drift?

  18. I don’t trust the concept of volunteer police officers in this town, volunteer firefighters and EMT’s are one thing and we have enough (moderated) in those organisations. We don’t need crazy wannabe cop’s, pay some real one’s.

  19. #6You are the role model as to what the real problem is. YOUR PART OF THE PROBLEM. ITS CALLED “DENIAL”. If all the knockers in this town will be men and say we have a problem then we can start working on fixing it.

  20. there was an Auxiliary force in Lakewood back in the day but due to some unfortunate things it had to be disbanded. i won’t go into it because it might embarrass some people up there.Some of our best officers started there before joining LPD. But one thing’s for sure the dynamics of this town has it doomed and will hurt us and do more bad then good.

  21. lcsw would form a great core to get it started with. they have already proven their dedication to the whole city and would be given a great vote of confidence by all, im suure

  22. 22&23 make very valid points! We already have LCSW for a lot of the things listed in the article and they cost the town nothing.

    I doubt the town would go thru the work of hiring and training aux police anyway when there are much more pressing issues. We need more real cops, we need to save the jobs of the 5 up for layoffs, we need to fight the gangs more effectively, we could use a drug dog… I could go on. Auxillary would put more bodies on the street, but might be more of a liability than it’s worth in the long run.

  23. the first thing we dont need to do is buy new fords the cars are not going to stop the crimes,the people.We need to stop being scared to open our mouths, the last time i checked the people out number the gangs.The next thing is to give the younger kids something to do in there spare time. When i was coming up we had both the YMCA and the YWCA and they were used for all the people of lakewood. Now what happen to them.IS IT FARE THAT THEY TOK IT FROM THE PEOPLE. tHE PRENSTON AVE SCHOOL, WE USED TO PLAY BASKET BALL AT NIGHTS THERE THATS GONE , IS IT RIGHT. You take away positive things for our kids to do. push them in one not the answer to stopping crime.Also the crime is not just among a few races ie blacks and hisp. We need an out side goverment to come in and see whats going on,to see who is being paid off.I herd nothing of that case sense it happen. Can some one please bring this case back to life so justice can be served.Thank ypu and God bless us all

  24. If the LCSW is not cutting it how would an auxiliary police help? Maybe the LCSW needs to just step up patrol. They are a good set of eyes and have helped fight crime from a distance for years.

  25. Violent crime does not happen everyday. Police spend most of their time babysitting your kids, getting you into your locked car, checking your house because you heard a noise, turning off your stove after sundown on Friday, pushing your disabled vehicle out of the road, walking around the school your kid goes to and checking the halls because someone forgot to close all the doors and windows, etc., etc,.

    As a Police Officer I will be glad to exempt you from those services. But I will continue providing those services to your neighbors because they appreciate it.

  26. Let’s get to the source of this problem . Problem #1. Drugs- Lakewood has become a haven for illegals who are drug dealers. These people need to be caught and shipped back where they came from . Problem #2: The public schools systems stink. Although we are spending at least 15,000.00 a year to educate each public school child, they are not receiving the education they need. Where are the graduate business owners, lawyers ,doctors, artists? How come Lakewood is not producing all these succesful people with all that money? Most of the cash is flowing to bloated pensions , insurance costs , sick days and overall governmental waste , which is why these kids are not getting a decent education. Many of them are taught information which will never help them for the future. A lot of the teachers are burnt out, unqualified and don’t truly love and care about the success of their children . This is the core of the crime propblems, Solve the illegal alien drug dealer problems, boost up the schools or allow the kids vouchers and crime will go down. Great schools produce great kids.

  27. The problem with the LCSW is that dont have any support and by that I mean from the community at large as well as from PD. Right now they are not out there as much as they can be. They dont have any money or fundraisers to help support them. As well the support of the local PD which will at least give them some credence. They should be our eyes and ears and not just to help for parking at the BMG event.

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