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Auxiliary Police Force considered

A proposed new ordinance would allow for auxiliary police officers in the Town of Pulaski, if it is approved.
Pulaski Town Council has instructed town staff to proceed with development of an ordinance for an Auxiliary Police Force Program and have it reviewed by Town Attorney David Warburton. It will then be placed on a future council agenda for consideration.
Town Manager John Hawley said the ordinance is requested at the recommendation of Chief Gary Roche, but there is no guarantee an auxiliary force would be developed if the ordinance is passed.
“The chief would like to have it as an option,” Hawley told council members.
Mayor Jeff Worrell said he believes the town had an auxiliary force for a while in past years. He questioned whether there is already an ordinance allowing for one.
Warburton said he has not been able to find anything on town books that would authorize such a force other than in situations where a state of emergency is imposed.
A draft ordinance based on another jurisdiction’s ordinance was presented to council earlier this week. However, Warburton said that ordinance would need some “fine tuning” to meet his liking.
An auxiliary police force would be comprised of citizen volunteers. They would be used for operational support and administrative assignments. The force could not exceed 15 percent of the paid force, which Roche said would be the equivalent of four auxiliary officers.
The force could be placed into service as deemed fit, such as during times of public emergency, for special events, during times of insufficient staffing of regular police officers in order to preserve peace and safety, and for training.
Being volunteers, auxiliary officers would not have any of the employment benefits offered to the town’s regular police force. Nonetheless, they would be covered by the town’s liability and the town would have to purchase special risk accident insurance in the event an auxiliary officer is injured while on duty. Likewise, the town would be liable for the officers’ activities while on duty.
Roche said the same requirements that must be met to be hired as a regular town officer would be used in selecting auxiliary officers.

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