Belchertown Police Department News Blog

Belchertown Selectmen Approve Formation of Auxiliary Police Unit

Belchertown, MA: The Board of Selectmen has approved the formation of an auxiliary police force as a way to augment the Police Department and evaluate potential future officers.

“This will be really helpful to have some people who could be called upon in emergency situations and when there is a large event in town,” said Selectmen’s Chairman Kenneth E. Elstein.

“It is a very good program,” Elstein said.

Fox has said that he would like to have auxiliary police working at large events wearing uniforms that would be different from the full-time Belchertown police officers’ uniforms.

The chief said the auxiliary force members would carry out the duties of police officers but would not have the same authority or responsibilities.

People serving as auxiliary police on a volunteer basis would not be paid for their time.

The selectmen have been encouraging Fox to develop his plans for auxiliary police since he presented his basic proposal in February.

At that time, Fox said that if auxiliary police were able to work at large scale disaster or emergency situations, they could take care of basic police chores and leave the full-time officers more time to take care of emergencies.

Elstein said having an auxiliary police force will be beneficial in several ways. He said it would provide extra police coverage for large events and emergency situations, give the police chief and the selectmen opportunities to evaluate potential new police officers and provide an opportunity for residents interested in police work to obtain some training and also to have the experience of what working at the job is like.

After discussing the legalities of forming an auxiliary police force the selectmen have concluded that their vote, authorizing Fox to move ahead with the plans, meets the town requirement and there is no need to bring the question to the Town Meeting.

Selectmen have also said that forming this unit would not require a large financial commitment from the town.

There are several cities and towns in Massachusetts with auxiliary police units.

Fox said he has been developing plans for starting a unit in Belchertown for well over a year.

Article courtesy of John Appleton, The Republican | Read the original article on MassLive.com

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