2007-03-30 / Community

101 Precinct Looks To Increase Auxiliary Ranks

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

Captain David Turk, of the 101 Precinct's Auxiliary Police, describes the duties of an auxiliary officer during this month's precinct community council meeting.Captain David Turk, of the 101 Precinct's Auxiliary Police, describes the duties of an auxiliary officer during this month's precinct community council meeting.

The 101 Precinct is looking to increase the ranks of its auxiliary police officers, an official announced at this month's Precinct Community Council meeting last week.

Captain David Turk, of the precinct's auxiliary police, spoke to community members about the volunteer program.

"We still need auxiliary officers in the 101," said Turk, at the March 21 meeting. "I'd like to see as many people as possible come in and see what it's all about."

Responsibilities for auxiliary officers vary from patrolling the streets to alerting the precinct of dangerous situations they encounter.

The website for the NYPD Auxiliary Police states the prime duty of an auxiliary officer is to patrol, observe and report. "Our responsibility is to call in whenever we see anything that might be a danger to civilians or other police officers," continued Turk. Auxiliary police do not respond to 911 calls or carry weapons.

"In truth, we really don't need arms," Turk said. "It's not a necessity for us because of the limits of our jobs.

"There are exceptions that might come up, but usually we are not asked to do anything of any danger, except if a regular police officer is with us. Every situation leaves you with a half second to make a decision. Your training and experience helps." A candidate must be between the ages of 17 and 60, be in good physical health, live or work in New York City, and have no criminal record. Turk said the next class would probably begin next month.

Training takes 15 weeks and covers criminal justice, the laws pertaining to the use of physical force, the use of the equipment and how to interface with the regular police officers at the NYPD.

"It's quite extensive," he said. "I recommend it for any young person interested in the community or criminal justice." Currently, only half of the approximately 41 auxiliary police at the precinct are active with the remainder taking part in ceremonial duties.

To those who might have negative opinions of the police, Turk has the following advice.

"Join. Become part of it," Turk suggested. If you want to really understand what goes on, instead of blaming the police, become part of it. When you get involved you get a different picture. You have to be on the inside to see what goes on. Then you have a much different opinion."

Those interested can go to http:// home2.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/pct/ auxpct.html for more information on the program. To contact the precinct about applying, the 101's Auxiliary Unit can be reached at 718-868-3421.

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