Supplementary Night-time Patrols in Mount Vernon

evought's picture

Over the last weekend, the Sheriff's Auxiliary has been working very closely with the Mount Vernon Police Department to provide supplementary night-time patrols to help protect area businesses. More than half of our volunteers took time out of their weekend to deploy in the middle of the night and patrol or sit in unmarked vehicles in addition to the staff overhead of planning, coordinating, and equipping patrols (plus filing paperwork). We intend to continue working with the MVPD to supplement their manpower for night-time patrols for the forseeable future. Obviously, we will not be announcing when and where that will occur.
In order to continue providing these services, the Auxiliary does need your support. Certainly we can use more money and equipment, as any volunteer organization does, but the biggest thing we need isĀ more volunteers and more people willing to undergo the training and commitment volunteering requires. The larger the pool of trained volunteers we have, the more shifts we can staff and the easier it is to juggle busy work and family schedules. We had several volunteers working multiple late-night shifts recently and sometimes last minute or back-to-back shifts if a schedule falls through at the last moment. You can help with that.
What to do if you see a strange vehicle? Do what you should normally do: If you see a strange vehicle circling or parked in an otherwise empty lot of a closed business, it could be us on patrol, it could be unmarked Sheriff or PD... or it might not. Call it in. We coordinate closely with the police and the Sheriff. Our volunteers are in contact with law enforcement, we carry county-issued ID, and we will usually be in uniforms or Sheriff's Office jackets. (Occassionally, we are plain-clothed if the police want us to be inconspicuous, but we will still have county ID). If you don't know how to tell whether our ID is real, call the police and ask them to verify us. We have no problem waiting while you do.
Can our volunteers make arrests? No. We are not Licensed Peace Officers and may not make arrests. We don't issue tickets, either. We can, however, call in city or county units to make the arrests. We are also often armed, are permitted to defend ourselves, to defend others whose life is in danger, or to prevent a forcible felony (e.g. assault or rape--- no different from any citizen with a CCW, really). We are specifically not permitted to use deadly force to protect property unless given explicit orders by law enforcement. We do have radios, phones, and cameras, however, will happily take pictures of your burglars, and maybe set up a tailgate BBQ when we go to testify at the trial (potluck, bring a dish!).


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