Introducing The TRPDA

The Mission:

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 Symphony Orchestra
  • Halloween "Trick or Treating"
  • Rocky River Rendezvous
  • Three Rivers High School Graduation
  • Neighborhood Clean-Up Days

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.

The People:

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.

Compensation ranges from $750 to $1,000 per year depending on rank. Officers are paid a small wage for coverage at school sporting events.

The Command:

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 Budget:

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 Programs:

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 census.

The Future:

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:


"We're Not Just Along For The Ride."






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