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Auxiliary Police get thanks for dedicated service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 January 2017 at 9:07 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: David Thom, a volunteer for 27 years with the Auxiliary Police, receives a plaque for his service to the group that was disbanding last month by the county. Thom accepts the plaque from Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director. County Legislator John DeFillipps is at left.

ALBION – Orleans County officials on Wednesday praised an all-volunteer group for its many years of dedicated service.

However, liability concerns and the demands of training to meet the standards of peace officers, prompted the county to dissolve the Auxiliary Police last month.

The group was started in Orleans County in 1952 and was to be activated at times of civil defense. The county was never attacked, and the group’s duties strayed from that original mission. The Auxiliary Police provided crowd control at the 4-H Fair, football games, festivals and other community events.

The group had shrunk to seven members.

“They always did a great job,” said Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director who oversaw the group. “I have nothing but praise for them.”

The Legislature on Wednesday presented a plaque to Lt. David Thom, who volunteered 27 years with the group.

Capt. Jack Monell has 47 years with the Auxiliary Police and has been its leader. He also will be getting a plaque, and so will Joe Riley, who served 43 years with the group.

Banker also has certificates of appreciation for Lawrence Bale, 11 years; Dixie Woodworth, 7 years; Ray Keffer, 7 years; and Craig Wilston, 7 years.

Ray Hertel also served with the group for 22 years before retiring last year.

Banker said the Auxiliary Police donated about 1,000 to 1,200 hours a year.

The county may fill some of the void without the group by having seasonal deputies work at some more community events.

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