History of the Auxiliary Police Force
The Arlington County Auxiliary Police Unit was formed in 1942 to provide uniformed patrol within Arlington County as a supplement to police officers whose numbers were reduced because of military service. During World War II, approximately 75 citizen volunteers served in the unit. Since then, the auxiliary officers have continued to assist the police department with both special events and daily activities throughout the county.
Role of Auxiliary Officers
The Auxiliary Police Unit is made up entirely of volunteers who support the full-time Arlington County police officers by:
- Patrolling County roads, parks, trails, and commercial areas;
- Handling accidents and other traffic incidents;
- Assisting at DUI checkpoints;
- Conducting child safety-seat inspections and installations;
- Providing security and crowd control at special events, such as the Marine Corps Marathon, July 4th celebration, parades, festivals, and neighborhood 5K and 10K races;
- Patrolling shopping malls during the holidays; and
- Providing other law enforcement support as needed.
All auxiliary officers are assigned to the Operational Support Section.
Applicants attend the Auxiliary Police Academy. Classes are conducted primarily on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and several Saturdays over a three-month period. Auxiliary officers receive extensive training, including on-the-job training from a Field Training Officer during their first few months of duty and in-service training in defensive tactics, driving techniques, police procedures, and other related topics throughout their term of service. Additional specialized training may be available depending on police needs and individual officer interest.
Auxiliary police officers receive training in patrol techniques upon their acceptance into the program. Auxiliary officers assist full-time police officers by providing vehicle and foot patrols throughout the County, writing reports, assisting with traffic and crowd control at special events, providing support during emergency call-outs, and responding to routine calls as dispatched.
The bike patrol is a key component of the auxiliary police program’s community policing efforts. Trained bike officers patrol County parks, trails, and other key areas. The bike patrol:
• Provides a visible police presence in parks and along trails;
• Promotes bicycle safety;
• Assists cyclists and others with medical and other emergencies; and
• Fosters positive relationships between area residents and the Police Department.
Community Policing Initiatives
Auxiliary officers participate in parking and traffic enforcement, safety-seat inspections and installations, crime prevention activities, bicycle registration, shopping mall security details, as well as many other community policing initiatives.
Whether you are thinking about a career in law enforcement or seeking a different and interesting way to contribute to your community, joining the Auxiliary Police Unit offers an exciting chance to learn new skills and serve a critical need. You will receive extensive training, all required equipment and uniforms, and opportunities to perform a wide range of police functions.
Requirements to become an auxiliary police officer include the following:
• U.S. Citizen
• Minimum 21 years of age
• Good physical condition
• Completed at least 60 semester credit hours (or 90 quarter credit hours) of college work at an accredited college or university – no substitution allowed
• Valid Virginia driver’s license
• Good driving record
• No criminal record
• Commitment to at least 180 hours of police duty a year
Additionally, each candidate must successfully complete the police application and interview process, and pass a background investigation, polygraph examination, physical, and drug screening.
For further information on opportunities available as an auxiliary police officer, please contact: