Source: NorthFulton.com

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Johns Creek Police Dept. ready to roll out citizen patrol
Unarmed auxiliary frees up: sworn officers for other duty

by Hatcher Hurd

October 31, 2012

Ed Densmore, Chief of Police
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. Soon, the Johns Creek Auxiliary Police Patrol will be rolling, keeping extra pairs of eyes open for the Johns Creek Police Department.

City Manager John Kachmar said these officers all civilian volunteers will not be armed and have no arrest powers, but they will report suspicious activity, accidents or render Good Samaritan assistance roadside.

The auxiliary officers will have radios and one police cruiser which admittedly has seen better days in which to cruise specific areas of the city.

"We will accept volunteers who have graduated from the Citizen Police Academy," said Police Chief Ed Densmore. "They will be an extra set of eyes and ears for us, and maybe assist a stranded motorist."

Kachmar said these volunteers will be under strict orders to report incidents only.

"They are not to get involved in a police matter, other than to report it," Kachmar said. "They will not be allowed to carry any weapon, even one of their own. That would get them immediate termination from the program."

They will not wear police uniforms, but will have separate police auxiliary garb and a baseball cap. These citizens will also be used at events for traffic control and to man information booths.

"What this can do for us is free up our sworn officers for more important duties only they can perform," Kachmar said.

The patrol car, one coming off line service anyway, will be given a specific grid of the city to watch and report, Densmore said.

The Citizen Police Academy gives residents a good grounding in police procedures and duties. It also explains the duties and the constraints officers must obey in the performance of their jobs.

"They also learn crime-solving is not like television where everything gets done in 60 minutes. I wish it were that simple," Densmore said. "This is another step to integrate the community with the police department."

The initial class of the police auxiliary will have 12 members. In addition to radio equipment, they will have "soft-uniforms," khaki pants with a polo shirt and cap.

"We don't want anyone mistaking them for a SWAT officer," Densmore said. "They won't have any equipment other than their radios no batons, no mace or anything like that. They are not to get into a confrontation with anyone."

Once on the street, the auxiliary volunteers will have been heavily indoctrinated that they are acting as representatives of the city.

"We think this will let people get to know us better and at the same time give our officers more opportunities to do the jobs they have been trained to do. So it is a win-win for the citizens and the city," the chief said.