Massachusetts Volunteer Law Enforcement Officer Association

A helping hand for Natick auxiliary police

14 Feb 2016 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Brian Benson 
Daily News Staff 


Posted Feb. 12, 2016 at 7:12 AM 

NATICK
When Patrick Irr joined Natick Police Department’s auxiliary police in the 1970s, he had a simple goal in mind.
“I just wanted to help out people,” said Irr, who lives in Medway. "I thought this was good way of doing it.”
About four decades later, Irr is a captain in the organization and still enjoys helping others. He said he is among about 15 auxiliary officers who perform a variety of tasks including assisting at large events like the Boston Marathon, patrolling public buildings and parks and helping out during storms. Members also undergo training, he said.
The all-volunteer organization is for the first time participating in a town fundraising program tied to the Boston Marathon. Medway’s Samantha McLaughlin is running the Boston Marathon through the program under which runners must raise $4,000 to support one of several local organizations.
Police Chief James Hicks said auxiliary officers perform a critical role supporting police.
“They’re that hidden gem that no one knows about,” Hicks said.
Hicks said serving in the auxiliary unit is a way for people to gain experience with an eye toward becoming a police officer in the future. But, some auxiliary officers simply want to serve the community and have no aspirations for becoming a police officer, Hicks said.
Auxiliary officers also help out on short notice, such as with the funeral for Michael McDaniel Jr, a Natick DPW worker killed in the line of duty in 2014.
Even as a volunteer organization, “if we need them for something, they always happen to be there,” Hicks said.
During storms, the auxiliary force will assist police by responding to some relatively minor calls such as broken down cars, allowing police officers to devote time to more serious incidents, Irr said.
Irr said the money raised from McLaughlin’s Boston Marathon participation will help the group pay for equipment and other expenses. While some expenses can be covered through the police department budget and grants, Hicks and Irr said additional money is needed.
McLaughlin said this will be her first time running a marathon.
She said the auxiliary police organization is close to her heart since her husband, Paul, is a Medway police officer. He responded in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, while McLaughlin was home with four kids, including a newborn.
“Being on the police side, you see what families go through,” McLaughlin said. “Anything can happen anywhere.”
Samantha McLaughlin's Boston Marathon participation will help the Natick Police Department's auxiliary police pay for equipment and other expenses. Daily News and Wicked Local Staff Photo/Marshall Wolff
McLaughlin said she heard about the town Boston Marathon program and, upon learning that the auxiliary police were one of the beneficiaries, knew she had found the correct organization.
McLaughlin said she gets up at 4:30 a.m. three days a week to do roughly seven-mile runs and tackles longer runs on weekends.
Hicks said the department and its auxiliary force appreciates what McLaughlin is doing.
The chief said he wants to “thank Samantha for making this effort and supporting this group. I think this group is deserved of this.”
To support McLaughlin’s fundraising effort, visit https://www.gofundme.com/boston2016.
Brian Benson can be reached at 508-626-3964 or bbenson@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @bbensonmwdn.


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