Jan. 12, 2022 By Christian Murray
The NYPD 108 Precinct is calling on residents to sign up to be part of its volunteer auxiliary program.
The auxiliary unit, which consists of an all-volunteer group, helps the police force in maintaining order at parades, festivals and street fairs—as well as assists in patrolling subway entrances, parks and housing developments. They also assist in crime prevention activities.
The precinct is about to hold two classes for those wishing to signup—one in March and the other in September. Residents looking to join the March class have until Jan. 13 to sign up.
“It’s a great program,” said Marcos Quintana, an auxiliary officer with the 108 Precinct who is heading up the recruitment drive.
Participants are trained in self-defense tactics, CPR and first aid, patrol techniques and components of the New York State Penal Law. For some, the program is a steppingstone to a career in the NYPD.
Quintana, who has been with the 108 Precinct auxiliary unit for 5 years, said that he joined because he finds it rewarding.
“The feedback we get from the neighborhood makes it worthwhile,” he said. “The crew also meshes well and we all have a unique bond—and it is a great area to help and support.”
Quintana, a Bronx resident who works as a doorman in Long Island City, said he finds the camaraderie satisfying and has seen the unit make a difference.
He said that auxiliary officers were deployed to Hunters Point South Park last summer as a means to deter illegal activity, which he said helped the situation. Additionally, he said. the unit helped reduce a spate of iPad and iPhone thefts on the subway system by conducting patrols.
The auxiliary officers wear the same uniform as the regular force, have the same radio and are equipped with night sticks. They don’t carry guns nor make arrests. They act more as “eyes and ears” and call on full-time officers to make arrests.
The 108 Precinct’s auxiliary unit currently consists of about 40 people—a number Quintana wants to be much bigger. Quintana said the unit is made up of a diverse group of men and women who vary in age and ethnic backgrounds.
He said they often work together at parades, festivals and street fairs that take place within the precinct.
He said the course is nine weeks long, with two classes a week. The training is conducted at the police academy in College Point on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Quintana said that there are still spots available for the March class.
Applicants must be at least 17 years old and pass a background check.
“It is great resume builder,” Quintana said. “As a doorman, people like the fact that I’m part of the auxiliary.”
Residents interested in the program should fill out the following form.