BY BARRY WARNER
Auxiliary Police Officers are called upon to supplement police department work as needed. Although the members do not perform the full range of duties of a law officer and do not carry a gun, they take part in other efforts that preserve peace and order, prevent crime and protect life and property.
This week’s Rockland County Times Unsung Hero is Clarkstown Auxiliary Police Sergeant Volunteer Paul Murray.
Clarkstown Auxiliary Police Captain Darryl Draper sang Murray’s praises. He said, “Paul Murray is a hardworking and dedicated member of the Clarkstown Auxiliary Police Force, with a depth of commitment to make a difference in the community. It is a pleasure working with him.”
As Auxiliary sergeant, Murray is responsible for supervising Auxiliary patrol officers and maintaining the chain of command within the operations of the force. The sergeant develops training courses for personnel, directs special units, prepares reports and makes assignments in accordance with primary needs.
The courses include training in penal law, the power of a peace officer, radio use, unarmed self-defense with a straight-wood baton, hand-cuffing techniques, (EVOC) driving a vehicle under demanding conditions and use of the (AED) Automated External Defibrillator, which is a portable device that can send an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.
“Clarkstown Auxiliary Police Force members are civic-minded men and women who volunteer to assist the Police Department by performing uniformed foot and vehicle patrols in the community. I command a group of 10 officers who range in age from 21 to 70 years, come from diverse backgrounds and occupations plus speak multiple languages,” Murray told The Rockland County Times. “The Auxiliary Police Force members provide the ‘eyes and ears’ for the Police Department at community festivals, parades, concerts, street fairs, football games Halloween, Gate Night and graduations. They are trained to observe and report conditions requiring the services of regular Police. We have a good working relationship with the Clarkstown Police Department. They give us a lot of trust and what we do is a reflection on the Department.”
Murray continued, “I volunteer because I live here, my family is here and after 911, I wanted to give back to the community. Since September, 2007 I have voluntarily served thousands of hours as a Clarkstown Auxiliary Policeman. There is great camaraderie among the members and we enjoy the holiday pizza parties, award dinners and picnics at Congers Lake.”
Auxiliary Police Force members’ patrol presence, observations and reporting of incidents are meant to aid in crime reduction and enhance relations between the community and the Clarkstown Police Department. According to the website www.cttfauxiliary.com , Auxiliary officers are not allowed to: make arrests, carry a firearm, respond to 9-1-1 calls involving any type of weapon, make traffic stops or issue summonses.
By virtue of their job duties all police officers are called on to be heroes, but not everyone is aware of the helping hand the men in blue receive from volunteers like Murray. That’s why he is this week’s Unsung Hero.
For additional information about the Clarkstown Auxiliary Police Force call 845-639-5887.