Auxiliary officers named to force

SALINEVILLE-The village’s safety forces received additional manpower Tuesday as council approved the hire of three auxiliary police officers – the first to be approved as part of the police department’s newly-formed auxiliary.

Salineville Police Chief Andrew Straley selected Rudy Jones, Dwayne Martin and Travis Needham as candidates for the auxiliary positions, and council unanimously approved the trio.

Jones is from Akron and is the only candidate that holds current OPOTA certification. Martin and Needham are both village residents. Needham is a former employee of the village street and sewer departments. Martin is a founding member of the village crime watch organization and has previously worked as a police officer, according to Straley.

“All of them have a background in law enforcement or have assisted in a reserve department prior to this,” said Straley.

Earlier this month, council approved an ordinance for the formation of an auxiliary police department. At the time, Straley stated auxiliary officers would act primarily in a support role to the department’s part-time officers. According to the ordinance, auxiliary police officers will have full police powers but will perform only duties assigned to them by the police chief. Straley said reserves will perform duties ranging from taking reports and patrolling with part-time officers to detaining suspects in a felony scenario.

Although they will have police powers, auxiliary officers will serve on a “voluntary basis,” meaning they will receive no pay. However, auxiliary officers will be covered by workers compensation. The ordinance also states that auxiliary officers will act as officers only when in official uniform. As for the expense of purchasing and maintaining the uniform, that is the responsibility of each auxiliary officer.

Straley said that as many as six more people have expressed an interest in becoming auxiliary police officers and are currently filling out applications.