Auxiliaries beneficial to local police detachments

After their work day is over, many of them then come out and volunteer to make their community a better place

GORD MOLENDYK

Special to the Morning Star

In this edition, I would like to recognize the men and woman who work closely with our uniformed officers weekly.

They assist our officers in many aspects of police work and several have paid the ultimate price. They have died in the line of duty; one not so long ago right here in Vernon.

I am describing the auxiliary members of the RCMP who work and live in our community.

After their work day is over, many of them then come out and volunteer their time to make their community a better place to live, work and play in.

They are people from all walks of life and background like you.

This is a great example of community policing at its best, members of the public helping to police the communities they live in.

During the month of June, the 14 dedicated auxiliaries in the North Okanagan detachment area – 11 from the City of Vernon, two from Armstrong and one from Enderby – have volunteered more than 250 hours of their time.

They volunteered at events in every community in the North Okanagan working with our uniformed police officers.

They did things like helping to educate school aged children on topics from bike safety to the child identification program.

They have been at high school graduations, and even assisted in the 24-hour cancer relay.

You may have seen them on bikes in the downtown core of Vernon on occasion, Lumby Days, and, of course, Funtastic.

This group of dedicated volunteers undergo a six-month training program involving about 260 hours of instruction by the RCMP.

When this is complete they are issued their uniform, as well as operational items like handcuffs and pepper spray and, the most important, their badge.

They then become an integral part of our team.

The primary role of our auxiliaries is to work with our officers during special events, like parades and community gatherings, assisting with crowd control, assisting members of the public, and helping out our police officers.

They truly do go above and beyond, to make their community a safer place.

They do it all for a thank you.

So the next time you see the men and woman of the auxiliary program, I ask that you take a minute to thank them for their dedication and their commitment to you the citizens of the North Okanagan for their help in policing our neighborhoods and communities, not only here in the Okanagan, but the country.

Gord Molendyk is the media spokesperson for the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment.