Meet HPD’s Auxiliary Police Officers
The Town of Holliston is very fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteer Auxiliary Police officers to supplement the full-time ranks when needed.
At a recent Select Board meeting, HPD LT George Leurini, who directs Holliston’s Auxiliary Police, shared the: duties, number of volunteer hours served, cost savings realized, and the budgetary cost to the Town as part of his FY 21 proposed budget presentation.
During FY 20 the Auxiliary ran up the following stats:
- 908 – Total hours of volunteer service – over half of that time on patrol or in training
- 139.25 – The highest number of hours served during FY 20 by one officer – CPL Donavan Seay
- 24 – Different special events and parades were staffed by Auxiliary officers
- 14 – In-house training sessions attended by the Auxiliary officers
- $57,040.56 – The amount the Town saved by using Auxiliary officers in lieu of paying full-time officers overtime
- $137.64 – The proposed increase in the overall Auxiliary Police budget for FY 21 – a 0.1% increase!
As a relatively new citizen to town, I was fascinated enough by these stats to learn more about this division of our Police Department. During a recent monthly Auxiliary Police training session, LT Leurini allowed me to interview two veterans of our Auxiliary Police force. Here’s what I learned about the people who volunteer to serve our community. I also got to observe SGT Hagan and K-9 Mattis demonstrate drug detection techniques for the Auxiliary officers.
Meet SGT Michael Aw. SGT Aw is a seventeen-year veteran of the HPD Auxiliary force. He joined the force in 2003 wanting to ‘help out’ in response to the 9/11 attacks. Up until recently, Mike was a Middle School teacher. Now that he is retired, he divides his time between two types of service: policing and bartending. Perhaps an interesting turn of a phrase given his other work, when I asked why he continues to serve Holliston he said, ‘it fills my cup.’ He highlighted the training he received throughout his police career. He loves Holliston and especially enjoys drawing ‘Sunday duty’ that allows him to interact with citizens as they head to and from church services.
CPL Donavan Seay (pronounced Sea), is coming up on eight years of service as an Auxiliary Police officer. He too was drawn to serve by the events of September 2001. His first ‘commitment to service’ had him join the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2002. He pursued a degree in Criminal Justice – and applied his learning as a cyber-security person at a large financial institution. In 2012, LT (Retired) Craig Denman recruited Donavan into the force. He calls the HPD a ‘top notch organization’ that a ‘high level of professionalism’ is expected of ALL HPD personnel. CPL Seay resides in Holliston and recently opened a security business in town.
Both officers continued to share more about why they continue to serve our community:
- They feel much more appreciated recently
- They get to favorably interact with the public at events / parades
- They get a chance to make change happen in the people they meet
- They are relied on by the full-time officers as partners – providing ‘whatever they need’ on a call
- They find the work ‘very rewarding’
- They have unwavering support from their spouses and families
Some individuals chose to join the Auxiliary force to gain the training and experience that prepares them for full-time employment as a law enforcement officer. That is the path that Officer Hannah Ciavarra took. She served as an Auxiliary officer until February 2019 when she resigned to attend the Lowell Police Academy before returning to Holliston in the fall as a full-time officer.
It was clear that these two individuals – who not surprisingly volunteered to meet with me – have great passion and pride for their service to Holliston. I was certainly energized by the conversation and disappointed to learn that I was too old and slow to be considered as an Auxiliary Police recruit.
Many thanks to LT Leurini, SGT Aw, CPL Seay and all the Auxiliary officers for their dedication to this important facet of keeping our community safe.
Below, from the HPD website, is information about the Qualifications and Selection / Training (380 hours at the Academy). Perhaps you, like SGT Aw and CPL Seay, have a commitment to serve Holliston.
Holliston Auxiliary Police Qualifications
- At least 21 years of age
- United States citizen
- Have no extensive motor vehicle record or criminal record
- Be in general good health and have sufficient strength and stamina and be free of all physical and mental defects which would interfere with the performance of Auxiliary Police duties
- Ability to obtain a license to carry a firearm
- Interview with Auxiliary staff
- Background investigation
- Psychological Examination
- Physical Examination
Probationary officers will receive training in CPR, First Responder, Defibrillator, Firearms, and on-going monthly training. Selected Officers must attend the Reserve Police Academy which is six (6) months in duration; three nights per week and some Saturdays.
If you are interested in serving the Holliston community with the Auxiliary Police, please call and arrange an informational interview with Lieutenant George Leurini at 508-429-1212 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org