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Auxiliary Police Officer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Auxiliary police officers assist local police departments in maintaining order and protecting the safety of a community's residents. Most are volunteers who are concerned with the well-being of their neighbors and their neighborhood.

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Job Description of an Auxiliary Police Officer

Auxiliary police officers assist their community's police precincts and departments in non-enforcement and non-hazardous duties. The department with which they are associated and the chief of police in charge of that department often delineate their specific duties. Although many auxiliary police officer positions are voluntary, some departments provide salaries for auxiliary law enforcement work.

Duties of an Auxiliary Police Officer

Auxiliary police officers are called upon to supplement police work as needed. Although they do not perform duties that require force, they take part in other police work that preserves peace and order, prevents crime and protects life and property, as instructed by their department. Depending on the community, auxiliary police officers may assist in crowd and traffic control, perform uniformed foot or bicycle patrols in a neighborhood or provide security at local concerts and festivals.

Requirements of an Auxiliary Police Officer

Most departments and communities maintain an age requirement for auxiliary police work, often 18 or 21. Many also require that applicants possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. In addition, auxiliary police officers are required to have a clean background and pass a drug test. In some communities, applicants need not be a U.S. citizen, although permanent residency status is required.

Because auxiliary police officers serve at the discretion of their department's chief of police, there is variation in the requirements for auxiliary law enforcement officers. For example, many smaller communities tend to have hourly requirements for auxiliary police officers. Moreover, some communities may require that potential auxiliary police officers undergo auxiliary law enforcement training. These training courses are often provided at local community colleges and teach potential auxiliary officers the basics of law enforcement, first aid and firearms training.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't report statistics for auxiliary police officers, information pertaining to mainstream police officers or security guards is available. In 2012, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a median annual salary of $55,270, and security guards earned $23,970 at that same time. From 2012-2022, employment for police and sheriff's patrol officers was predicted by the BLS to expand more slowly than average, at 6%, while jobs for security guards were expected to grow about as fast as average, at 12%.

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