An auxiliary officer is a volunteer citizen for the police force, helping them with patrolling and other duties, typically in their own communities. They aren't allowed to enforce the law or engage in dangerous tasks. Some departments may provide them with salaries.
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. Auxiliary police officers perform non-enforcement and non-hazardous duties. The departments with which they are associated and the chief of police in charge often delineate their specific duties.
Although many auxiliary police officer positions are voluntary, some departments provide salaries for auxiliary law enforcement work. Auxiliary police officers usually must be at least 18 or 21 years of age. Most employers prefer professionals who have the minimum of a high school diploma. Additional job requirements include having a clean background, passing drug tests, and being either a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.
|Required Education||GED or high school diploma|
|Other Requirements||Meet age requirements; pass drug tests; have a clear background; and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||5% for police and detectives; 4% for security guards|
|Median Annual Salary (2018)*||Many volunteer auxiliary police positions aren't compensated.
$61,380 for police and sheriff's patrol officers; $28,490 for security guards
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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
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 2018, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned mean annual salaries of $65,400, and security guards earned $32,050 during that same year. From 2018-2028, both employment for police and sheriff's patrol officers, and security guards, were predicted by the BLS to grow as fast as average.
To become an auxiliary police officer, one must be of legal age, pass drug tests and a background check, and be a permanent U.S. resident. Formal education isn't required since this a volunteer job, though some precincts may request and provide special training for these officers. Acting as crowd controllers and neighborhood security are their usual duties.