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Council gives green light to auxiliary police unit

By Nicole Kleinsteuber
Prince Edward County will be stepping up its police presence this summer as council approved a motion at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting to welcome an auxiliary unit.

Councillor Robert Quaiff told council that five to 10 volunteer police officers are in the process of being transferred to Prince Edward County from already established units.

“We will see auxiliary members in the detachment this summer,” said Quaiff.  “The volunteers don’t attain policing authorities or powers and must rely on the same arrest provisions accorded to regular citizens.”

The police services act does provide instances when an auxiliary member may have the authority of a police officer including emergency situations where the OPP requires additional strengt.  These instances include regular patrol, crime and disaster scenes, large gatherings or parades for crowd and traffic control and traffic accidents.

Auxiliary members will be under the supervision of an OPP officer at all times.

“This gives volunteers an opportunity to work with the community and ensure everyone’s pursuit of legal activity is in a safe environment,” said Quaiff.

Quaiff said there would be a process put in place to recruit other members from the local community to fill other vacancies.

“This will speed the process and reduce the cost of the Police Services Board,” said Quaiff.

Mayor Peter Mertens recognizes the cost benefits associated with having volunteers assisting local officers.

“This will save us the salary of one or two officers,” said Mertens.

Start up costs are $3,500 per member for training and equipment and $300 for maintenance costs per member every year thereafter.

The police services board will pay for necessary equipment, training and maintenance costs out of its budget. The funds will be covered from services such as police record checks.

Auxiliary members must be 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen, completed Grade 12 and have a valid driver’s licence.

Applicants take general aptitude and psychological assessments and successful candidates move on to complete a 60-hour recruit training program which includes OPP policies and procedures, self defences, traffic control and fire arms.

“This is an opportunity to see if someone is interested in policing,” said Quaiff.  “ It gets more bodies out there with uniforms and gets the sense of community back.”

Councillor Brian Marisett said this gives youth a chance to get involved and participate in events with local law enforcement.

“This will be a way to for police to positively interact with our youth instead of the tough love we’ve seen in the past,” said Marisett.

Filed Under: Local News


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  1. Jack Dall says:

    I congatulate council on taking this step. Police prescence in the southern rural ends of the County is skimpy to say the least. Proactive policing is much more effective way of insuring that all residents enjoy the many beautiful areas that the county has to offer without the intimidation of a few bad apples.

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