Fayetteville Chief Heaton wants council to OK auxiliary force

The agenda for the Nov. 1 meeting of the Fayetteville City Council will be limited but will include an overview of the proposed Fayetteville Police Department Auxiliary Force.

Police Chief Steve Heaton will report on his recommendation to establish the auxiliary force. The idea is to have the new unit established with graduates from the department’s Citizen Police Academy, Heaton said in an Oct. 19 letter. If approved by the council, academy graduates will work on a voluntary basis to assist officers with non-law enforcement tasks, Heaton said.

“These tasks will include providing a presence in the Fayette Pavilion during the holiday season, assisting police personnel with events such as parades and road races, and participating in community events. All members of the auxiliary will have to attend training prior to working with the police department. The auxiliary force will be the police department’s eyes and ears and will assist citizens with non-law enforcement issues. Members of the force will be in uniform and be assigned a vehicle and a radio,” said Heaton.

Heaton said the assistance provided by the Fayetteville Auxiliary Force (FAF) will allow officers to focus on law enforcement activities and to address crime-related issues.

Heaton at the meeting will emphasize that FAF members will have to be Citizens Police Academy graduates and pass a background check. They will not carry weapons and will not have arrest powers, Heaton said in the Oct. 19 letter.

The initial cost of a uniform and accessories will be approximately $250, while the cost of converting police cars to FAF vehicles is approximately $2,200. But that cost will be significantly offset by the benefits the city will receive, Heaton maintained.

Volunteer work is worth approximately $20 per hour, Heaton said. Volunteers are expected to be on duty an average of 16 hours per month, said Heaton, adding that three months of volunteering will offset the initial investment.

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