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North Bay police chief wants to launch an auxiliary police program


North Bay police chief Daryl Longworth is backing a plan to kick-start an auxiliary police program next year.

Longworth announced the plan during a presentation of the police service’s challenges and successes to city council last Monday.

“Both deputy chief Daze and myself started our careers as auxiliary officers -- we both came from auxiliary units,” he told council.

“The work they do in the community is fantastic.”

Auxiliary police officers are volunteers who help deliver crime prevention programs, attend community events and help with other duties.

They receive specialized training and wear uniforms that are different from the uniform of police officers.

“The presence is the biggest thing,” said police board chair Rich Stivrins.

“Just putting extra bodies in the street that are acting as eyes and ears out there and taking some of the load off on the softer side of the service.”

The police board sees the program as a recruiting tool for people who want to be hired as a regular police officer on the force.

“We get an on-the-job interview with people who really want to be serving the community and working with their local police service. Right now, we have a number of vacant positions that need to be filled,” Longworth said.

“We’re competing with other police services and other government agencies for the same shrinking pool of qualified candidates.”

The auxiliary program is meant to increase visibility for the police service and the board expects it would come with a “very little cost to the taxpayer.”

“There are, you know, training and equipment costs,” Stivrins said.

“It's just one more tool in the toolbox to make sure our presence is known out in the community.”

Auxiliary police officers will have some responsibilities and will be trained to use some force if needed.

“The people of North Bay want to feel safe, they want better customer service and more fiscal responsibility from their police service,” Longworth said.

The hope is to have the program ready for a launch by next spring.

“That's obviously fluid with some training and equipment and all that type of stuff that has to happen before we're ready to go live,” Stivrins said. Top Stories

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