BROOKLYN — The NYPD is in need of a few good officers.
The Brooklyn South Patrol Borough's Auxiliary unit is seeking new recruits who are willing to serve as the eyes and ears of New York's Finest.
As part of an ongoing effort, Auxiliary Chief Tony Christo campaigned for new recruits at the 76th Precinct’s Community Council meeting earlier this month, and his team set up a booth at the Court Street Fair last weekend to bring in passersby.
Auxilliary positions are open to anyone on a volunteer basis after they complete an 18-week training course. Despite the responsiblity and rigorous training needed to join, police still managed to attract 15 to 20 people at the Court Street Fair alone, Christo noted.
“Look at it this way — the more uniforms are out there, the safer things will be,” he explained. “A lot of young people in the Auxiliary become regular police officers. We want police officers to be involved with the community."
The only requirement for volunteers interested in joining the Auxiliary unit is that they must be between the ages of 17 to 63 to apply and complete the training course, Christo said.
The course begins with a rundown of basic information, such as the difference between a robbery, burglary and assault. The last three weeks are dedicated to self-defense.
After graduation, Auxiliary officers are given a police shield, an ID and a $250 allowance for uniforms. Unlike regular police officers, the Auxiliary officers do not carry firearms and are not authorized to make arrests, other than citizens' arrests. They are provided with walkie-talkies, nightsticks and were recently given bulletproof vests.
“Just the mere presence of the uniforms are enough to deter crime,” Christo noted.
Many of the current Auxiliary officers are professionals who continue to carry their day jobs, the chief said. When they’re on duty, however, officers are often assigned to special details, including houses of worship and street fairs.
“We don’t want to give the perception that we're Batman and Robin,” Christo said. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt. The point is to deter crime."
To volunteer as an Auxiliary police officer, interested parties can call 212-289-1000 or visit their local precinct for more information.