No doubt inspired by the ground-breaking 1987 cinematic success that forever changed the political landscape and altered the consciousness of a generation, Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol, the Brunswick P.D. under Chief Edna H. Johnson feels that now is the time for this program to return after a two year hiatus, as The Brunswick News reports. As “auxiliary police officers,” the totality of their job is to patrol city neighborhoods in a COP vehicle, which appears to look at first glance like a normal police cruiser but with a yellow light bar on top. But before these volunteers can hit the mean streets of Brunswick, an actual BPD officer is assigned to their training course and, thus, is taken off the road from normal duties. Unfortunately, the problems with this kind of program only begin there.
Programs like these merely serve to open the municipality to tremendous litigation down the road. What, for instance, if some serious criminal sees Auxiliary Officer Bob round the corner as he is fleeing a crime and he decides to take them out, not realizing that they are “volunteers”?
What if Auxiliary Officer Bob sees a crime in progress and gets over zealous in stopping crime from behind the wheel of his faux police vehicle and, in the process, hurts someone?
The goal of these volunteers is laudable and the desire of the BPD to have more eyes on the road is commendable, but the only real solution is to have an increase in POST Certified law enforcement officers on the road…not to have feel-good programs that take up more resources that could be used in better places.