Taylor Auxiliary Police recruitment drive is a success

A number of citizens came out to volunteer to take a bite out of crime and help the Taylor Auxiliary Police force have its best turnout in recent years at a recruitment drive December 9 and 10 at the Southland Shopping Center.

A total of 37 new recruits came out on the Saturday and Sunday to sign up as volunteers for the program, according to Lt. Justin Mordarski, the auxiliary officer who headed the recruitment drive.

Mordarski has been organizing the recruitment drive for three years and said this was the biggest turnout he has seen.

“Of the drives we have been doing, this was the most successful by far,” Mordarski said. “Saturday was our biggest day ever when we got 24. We’ve never got 24 in one day – ever. So Saturday was our best single day. This weekend was our single best weekend. So definitely this is our best (drive) yet.”

The next step for those who filled out applications to volunteer for the auxiliary force at the mall is to pass a background check and then begin the training program, Auxiliary Police Chief Larry Domski said.

The training consists of more than 200 hours of training in the classroom and in physical fitness and firearms instruction. Following the training curriculum, and if the recruits become auxiliary officers, they will be required to volunteer 20 hours a month working with the force, Domski said.

Mordarski estimated that 12 to 15 of the individuals that signed up during the drive will actually complete all of the training and join the current 48 members of the Taylor Auxiliary Police.

Chief Domski said that the auxiliary force chooses to hold its recruitment drive at the mall around the holiday season so its presence can help aid in security during times of increased mall traffic.

The Auxiliary Police force maintains a detail at Southland during the holiday season to assist in extra security measures.

“We are stationed at the mall every day during the holiday season,” Lt. Modarski said. “We start Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and maintain a daily presence there until the first of the year – the reason being is that the mall is considerably more crowded during that period.”

The holiday detail at Southland comes in addition to the auxiliary force’s everyday details.

“We do all the city details,” Domski said. “We do all the church details for the city. We have one or two cars on the road every night. Our main thing is to check the parks and schools and drive through the businesses after closing.”

The City of Taylor’s web site indicates that Taylor residents are preferred for the Taylor Auxiliary Police program, but Lt. Mordarski says that the program is happy to accept applicants from all over southeastern Michigan.

“We have no preference whatsoever,” Mordarski said. “We’ve had people from as far away as Macomb. We’ve had officers from Grosse Ile, Southgate, Wyandotte, Garden City, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights. There’s no preference for Taylor residents at all.”

The volunteer program attracts individuals for many different reasons.

“There are a lot of guys that came through that got hired by other police departments,” Domski said. “A lot of people – new ones – try and see if that’s what they want to do for a career. It looks good on their résumé too when they do it.

“A lot of us have been around the city for a long time and have no intentions of becoming police officers. We’re there to help to out.”

While the Auxiliary Police program relies on its recruitment drive to bring in new volunteers, it is accepts applications throughout the year. An application for the program can be found on the City of Taylor’s web site or picked up from the Taylor Police Department.

-- Andrew Poloni