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How to Become an Auxiliary Police Officer

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Auxiliary police officers are volunteers who support local police departments in uniformed patrol duties. For example, auxiliary officers in New York City conduct patrols at subway stations, street festivals and business districts. They may perform their patrols on foot, on a bicycle or in a vehicle. Candidates must undergo an intensive recruitment and training process to qualify for duty as auxiliary police officers. Auxiliary officers typically have the same law enforcement power as a full-time police officers, notes the James City County, Va., police department’s website.

Review eligibility requirements for auxiliary police officers. A candidate for an auxiliary police officer must meet prerequisites with respect to age, citizenship status and education. For example, in James City County, applicants must be at least 21 years old and have a GED or high school diploma. In New York, candidates have to be 17 or older, be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be able to read and write English.

Complete the officer recruitment process. The specific steps may vary, but generally this entails completing an application, passing a criminal background check and undergoing additional screening. Additional screenings a prospective auxiliary police officer might have to complete include a drug test, a physical fitness test and psychological testing. Candidates should also be prepared to undergo an in-person interview.

Enter an auxiliary officer training program. In an auxiliary training program, an officer completes training in firearms and learns how to use a tactical baton and sprays. In this manner, training for auxiliary officers mirrors the training provided to full-time law enforcement officers. An auxiliary officer may also be required to complete a form of continuing education, known as in-service, in order to maintain auxiliary status.

Meet auxiliary officer service requirements. These requirements may vary depending on the needs of a department. For example, James City County officers are required to complete at least 19 hours of service every month.

About the Author

A.K. Jayne has written and edited print and online content since 2006. In addition, she has legal assistant/paralegal experience in areas including wills and trusts and family law. Her articles have appeared in the "Philadelphia Inquirer," "New Jersey Record" and "Burlington County Times." Jayne completed an Associated Press internship and is an alumna of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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