The Auxiliary Police
Force was created in the 1950's to serve as a ready reserve
of trained personnel to augment the Three Rivers Police
Department in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest
or other incident requiring a heightened Department response.
Over time, the mission
of the Auxiliary unit has grown to include community events
such as security coverage for:
- Three Rivers
Water Festival event
- Harmony Fest
- High School
Football and Basketball Games and Dances
- Memorial Day,
Water Fest and Homecoming Parades
- The Kalamazoo
"Trick or Treating"
- Rocky River
- Three Rivers
High School Graduation
Our members also ride
patrol with the Department's certified officers; transport,
fingerprint and photograph prisoners; and participate in drug
raids and warrant sweeps. We also assist with the
Department's Community Policing programs including Park, Walk
and Talk; IdentiKid; Neighborhood Watch and Code Enforcement.
Authorized at up to
twenty people, we currently have 11 members from all walks of
life. Our members cover a range from factory workers to
corporate management personnel. While several of our members
have gone on to become certified police officers, the
motivation for most of our staff comes from a desire to be
actively involved in the improvement of their community.
Being an Auxiliary
Police Officer requires a large commitment of personal time.
There are several mandatory events throughout the year, an
annual training program covering several weeks of evening
sessions, and mandatory ride time each month.
from $750 to $1,000 per year depending on rank. Officers are
paid a small wage for coverage at school sporting events.
The Auxiliary Police
Force is commanded by our Chief of Police, Earl Stark,
through the Department liaison Lieutenant Thomas Bringman. Day
to day operations, planning and organizational duties are
provided by Auxiliary Lieutenant Mike Fleckenstein. Auxiliary Sergeant Dan Mourey serves as quartermaster and assists with training among his other
Auxiliary duties. Corporal Keri Bringman rounds out the squad's
command structure, assisting with crew deployment and leadership.
The Auxiliary Force has
two sources of revenue. The City's General Operating Fund
pays the wages of our members and provides a small amount of
money for such things as supplies and equipment. We receive a
donation of $850 per year for our security services at the
Three Rivers Water Fest.
Fund raising efforts
are difficult for police entities because so many of its
dealings with the public are less than positive. Whereas fire
departments hold a good public image because of their life
and property saving efforts, people only seem to remember the
ticket they got several years ago when it comes to
contributing to a police department.
Because there is so
much need within the Police Department itself, when our
corporate citizens contribute to the Department the donation
is quickly absorbed. Such programs as DARE and the
Department's police dog are great assets to the community and
represent the ways that some of our corporate citizens have
chosen to contribute to the Department's efforts.
The Auxiliary Force
contributes in excess of 3,000 man-hours annually to the
efforts of Three Rivers Police Department. The Water Fest
coverage that we provide amounts to approximately 400
man-hours per year. Our efforts benefit the community in many
other ways, too.
Our traffic control
duties at parades direct the flow of traffic around the
parade route preventing accidents and injury. Our presence at
school events helps to maintain order and prevent incidents
which might otherwise occur. Our patrols at Halloween have
greatly reduced the amount of mischief and vandalism
previously experienced in the City.
When our members ride
along with the certified officers the Department is able to
stretch its law enforcement efforts, as the officers don't
need to back each other up on every call. When we transport
prisoners to the County Jail our certified officers remain in
the City instead of being short staffed for half an hour or
more each time. We also provide trained manpower to assist
the Department when they conduct drug raids and warrant
sweeps in the community.
We have been actively
involved in the Department's Community Policing Program by
providing staffing for the motor home when it is taken out on
location, participating in Neighborhood Clean-Ups, and the
Park, Walk and Talk program. We assist the Department's Code
Enforcement Officer in his efforts by writing parking, trash
and junk vehicle citations and assist with the annual dog
As the Department
shifts its emphasis from enforcement to community policing
the role of the Auxiliary will continue to change. In years
past our efforts were limited to just the Water Fest and
school events. As our level of training increased, so did the
scope of our duties. We anticipate that new responsibilities
will be added as the Community Policing program develops.
We expect that programs
such as IdentiKid, Neighborhood Policing, and Park, Walk and
Talk will be expanded. We are currently examining a plan to
assign members by City ward so that each member will develop
a sense of ownership within the ward, and the residents will
get to know "their" officers as they spot them
walking within the neighborhoods enforcing local ordinances
and responding to citizen complaints.
We remain committed to
being a positive influence in our community by serving the
citizens of the Three Rivers area. As our motto states:
Not Just Along For The Ride."