JPD short on auxiliary officers


JASPER — The Jasper Police Department is looking to hire more auxiliary officers to monitor the city so its police officers can stay on top of their regular duties.

An auxiliary officer is a part-time reserve for the police department who helps with responsibilities such as directing traffic, writing accident reports and parking citations, and assisting other officers.

JPD got approval from the Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety Tuesday to start the hiring process for at least two new auxiliary officers, which would bring the department’s count up to six. The board also accepted the resignation of auxiliary officer Samantha Jarboe.

“We were one down to begin with, so we’d like to hire two,” JPD Chief Nathan Schmitt said. “If we got a lot of applicants, we would request to bring extra on, because they’re only getting paid if they’re working.”

The officers are sometimes paid by the city, depending on what specific duties they’re doing, but they’re usually paid by whatever entity they’re working for. So if an officer is working a high school sporting event, they would be paid by the athletics department.

Extra security is needed at festivals and sporting events in the city, too, especially at Strassenfest.

Schmitt said the need for auxiliary officers varies throughout the year, but in general, the department is in need of them.

“It depends on what’s happening,” he said. “We’re in football season, so they’ll have those home games. It depends on the art center and what they’re doing, and then when basketball season rolls around, they start working a little more again. It’s pretty random.”

The auxiliary officers go through training for responsibilities such as radio and communications, traffic control and defense tactics. They also will sometimes ride along with police officers to see what their jobs are like, as many auxiliary officers are young and looking to get a career in the law enforcement field.

The board also accepted the resignation of patrolman Briar Meadors, who started with JPD earlier this year, so the department also got approval to start the hiring process for an officer to replace Meadors.

The board also:

• Approved a partial lane closure at Rolling Ridge Road for two weeks in October for concrete work.

• Approved signage to be placed near the train depot, sponsored by the Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition.

• Gave JPD permission to purchase a K-9 insert for $6,729.99.

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