Two share Taylor Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year honor

Sgt. Daniel Smith and Cpl. Carl Engle have several things in common.

They have lived in Taylor since the 1960s. They thrive on volunteering and making a difference in the community. As members of the Taylor Auxiliary Police, they give tirelessly to help make the community safer while supplementing the full-time Taylor Police Department.

And this year, Smith and Engle share the Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year recognition.

Smith, a platoon sergeant with five years on the force, gave more than 750 hours to the all-volunteer group in 2007, much of it in training newly recruited officers. He served as a defense tactics instructor and is in charge of the auxiliary color guard. He won the award after being a runner-up in the previous two years.

Engle, an eight-year veteran, recorded nearly 500 hours in a variety of details. Engle was a finalist for the auxiliary award the year before.

“No matter what the detail, any time we need someone, we can call Carl,” said Larry Domski, chief of the auxiliary department. “He put in 490 hours and worked on more details. Dan has put in a lot of hours, many of it in training. They are both very good officers and are both very dependable.”

The Taylor Auxiliary Police Department was organized as a volunteer group in 1962. Auxiliary officers provide patrols of businesses, parks and schools, provide holiday shopping center anti-theft programs, provide security for city elections, special city events and church festivals, and provide assistance as deemed necessary to further the goals of the Police Department.

The auxiliary has 55 officers who are required to donate at least 20 hours a month, plus 13 officer candidates in training.

The co-officers of the year have full-time careers and supportive families.

Smith, 46, is in project management for EDS (Electronic Data Systems. A resident of the city since 1965, Smith and his wife Trish are the parents of Nicholas, Cory and Megan. A former member of the Road Rangers Club, Smith served as president in 1995.

The auxiliary “is a great organization,” Smith said. “I just enjoy doing it – doing something good for my city. I can get involved with the city stuff without getting involved in the politics.

“I put in a lot of hours – I do what I’ve got to do – but we have a lot of fun, too.”

Engle, 63, has lived in the city since 1969. He has worked in the utility department of the Taylor School District for 37 years, often working as a heavy equipment operator. He has been married to wife Ethel for 43 years. They had four children – Joseph, Lavonna Cox, Irene Thompson and the late Carl Jr., who passed away in 1984 at age 29. They also have six grandchildren.

Engle also served eight years in the Naval Reserves and was a Scout master in the Boy Scouts. He is a former precinct delegate as well.

“I try to help as much as I can, whether it’s backing up the regulars, setting up flares, directing traffic at an accident scene or working a power outage,” Engle said. “I go to schools, city parks, business checks and vacation home checks. I go on all the call-outs throughout the year. I really enjoy it. It’s fun.”

The winners – and all of the auxiliary officers – were recognized for during the annual Auxiliary Police dinner dance at the Taylor Knights of Columbus Hall. This year’s other finalists for the award were Lt. Brian Persia and Sgt. Jeff Witmer. Like Smith and Engle, Persia was a finalist the previous year as well.

Also recognized at the dinner was Lt. Mark Geikowski, who received the Commanders Cup for shooting accuracy at the gun range. Geikowski has been an auxiliary officer for 32 years.

The group has one of the finest reserve/auxiliary training programs in the state. Recruit officers must complete 219 hours of class-type instruction, physical fitness and range training. Within the 16 weeks of the program, the largest amount of time is dedicated to range training, which teaches the recruits 52 hours of weapons proficiency.

The training academy is meant to be convenient for recruits that have full-time jobs or studies. The training program concludes with a graduation ceremony with the officers and their families.

Candidates for auxiliary membership must be 21 years old, have a clean criminal record, a clean driving record, be a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma or GED.

For more information on the Taylor Auxiliary Police Department, leave a voicemail message at (734) 374-4050.

Sgt. Daniel Smith (left) and Cpl. Carl Engle are the Taylor Auxiliary Police Officers of the Year.

Sgt. Daniel Smith (left) and Cpl. Carl Engle share honors as Taylor Auxiliary Police Officers of the Year. Other finalists were Lt. Brian Persia and Sgt. Jeff Witmer. Lt. Mark Geikowski was named top shot.

Taylor Auxiliary Police award winners and top officers from the auxiliary and Taylor Police Departments gather during the annual dinner dance. Seated are Sgt. Daniel Smith (left) and Cpl. Carl Engle, officers of the year; Lt. Brian Persia and Sgt. Jeff Witmer, finalists; and Lt. Mark Geikowski, top shot. Behind them are Director of Police Services Jac Desrosiers (left), Chief of Police Dale Tamsen, auxiliary Cmdr. Gerald Schaffer and Cmdr. Ronald Vaughn, police Lt. Mark Tonge, and auxiliary Cmdr. John Muse, Executive Cmdr. Cecil Chalmers and Chief Larry Domski.

Members of the Taylor Auxiliary Police are joined by top Taylor police officers during the annual auxiliary dinner dance at the Taylor Knights of Columbus.