Sgt. at Arms
WHY WE NEED
NEW LEGISLATION FOR CLASSIFICATION AS VOLUNTEER PEACE
The Auxiliary Police come under The Civil Defense Act of
1950.During that time, they were used to direct traffic
to the air raid shelters and to control the people at
those shelters.This is NOT what we are used for today.
The duties and activities of auxiliary police vary
considerably. In upstate communities, auxiliary police
direct traffic at parades, fairs, special events and
church crossings. They check vacation homes, participate
in emergency rescues and searches for missing persons,
ride as second man in patrol cars and perform
administrative work for police
departments. Downstate, and in larger cities,
auxiliary police patrol trains, subway platforms and bus
terminals.They perform neighborhood watches and patrols
and assist police in crowd control. Auxiliary police
educate the public in crime prevention techniques,
engrave valuable property with the owners
drivers license or I.D. number, patrol the streets
and report illegal activities to the appropriate law
enforcement agency. They check doors and windows to
make sure they are locked and that no one has or can gain
entry illegally, and patrol in squad cars in an effort to
reduce vandalism. These activities, although very
important, are not covered by The Civil Defense Act
of 1950 or by the CPL. Some Counties & Cities
have feared the liability so much, that they
disbanded their Auxiliary Police Programs in the
Many towns have appointed Volunteer Special Police
pursuant to Town Law Section 158. These Volunteers have
duties very similar to Auxiliary Police but operate under
town law rather then civil defense law. This proposed
legislation would consolidate Auxiliary Police, Special
Police, Reserve Police, and many other uniformed
volunteer members of law enforcement agencies within
the State of New York. We hope to be able to define
these volunteers as one group for the purpose of creating
and supporting legislation that will help recruit and
protect uniformed volunteers in law enforcement agencies.
The Auxiliary Police are only considered Limited Peace
Officers during a declared emergency or authorized
drill. It is imperative, however, that the
Auxiliary Police have the same statuary protection of
being a Peace Officer while on duty that other unformed
Auxiliary Police officers drive cars that resemble Police
Cars & wear similar uniforms, but many do not have
the same protective equipment a police officer would have
to protect himself.
Auxiliary Police DO NOT have a Benevolent Law like The
Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Law and the
Volunteer Ambulance Workers Benefit Law, and we
feel we deserve to have the same protection they receive.
The NYS Workers Compensation law does not treat all
Volunteers equally. Auxiliary Police are considered
unpaid employees. Our salary is Zero.
The Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Ambulance
Workers Benefits Laws provide cash benefits and/or
medical care for volunteer members who are injured or
become ill in the line of duty. Recognizing the unselfish
service of volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance
workers, laws designed to protect such volunteers who are
injured, or who become ill, in the line of duty, were
enacted in 1957 and 1989, respectively.
The local political subdivision pays for this insurance,
and cannot require the volunteer member to contribute to
the cost of coverage. Weekly cash benefits and medical
care are paid by the subdivisions insurance
carrier, in accordance with the applicable law. The
Workers Compensation Board is a state agency that
administers these laws, and if disputes arise,
adjudicates them through a quasi-judicial proceeding.
In a volunteer firefighters' or ambulance workers'
benefits case, no one party is determined to be at fault.
The amount that a claimant receives is not decreased by
his/her carelessness, nor increased by the companys
fault. A volunteer member loses his/her right to benefits
if the injury results solely from his/her intoxication
from alcohol or drugs, or from the intent to injure
him/herself or someone else.
Not all Auxiliary Police have the same training and
standards a uniform system of operations and
training would help to solidify procedures, rules and
There are other volunteers in Law Enforcement that do
similar work and need to be included in this piece of
legislation; namely, Special Police in the various
counties of upstate New York, Reserve Police, SPCA, SPCC,
Schoharie Tactical Search and Rescue Squad, the Rockland
County Sheriffs Reserve Force and The Westchester
County Public Safety Emergency Forceto name only a
This new legislation would help to create a proposed
minimum standard with which all units would need to
comply in order to reap the benefits that will,
hopefully, be gained with this legislation. The benefits
can act as incentive for the various forces to
voluntarily comply with the proposed minimum standards.
Obviously, this legislation would help with the
recruitment and retention of able-bodied men and women to
the Auxiliary Police and other similar forces.
In many instances, the Auxiliary Police are put in harms
way and considering todays problems with Homeland
Security, it is imperative that we get our communities
involved in the safety of their homes.
This legislation should also include assistance in the
aid and training of the various volunteer forces so that
the local police departments can best utilize them. The
new law should also have built into it the ability of the
NYS DCJS to oversee that the standards are being met and
Lastly, and in all due respect, it is almost ludicrous to
expect a viable and modern force existing today and
providing tremendous aid to the various communities in
which they serve, to work under the jurisdiction of a law
created prior to 1950.