Bay Village Auxiliary Police commemorate 50 years of service

Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland greets auxiliary police Sgt. Don Landers during the Dec. 1 recognition ceremony at Bay Village City Hall. Photo by Denny Wendell

On Monday, Dec. 1, both a tribute and a celebration took place in the council chambers of Bay Village City Hall. On this evening, 18 of the 23 members of the Bay Village Auxiliary Police were recognized for their unit's service.

In 1964 the Civil Defense unit, which had existed since 1957, was disbanded. Someone, their name long ago forgotten, perhaps not even recorded, had the brilliant notion of forming the Bay Village Auxiliary Police Department. Yes, it has been 50 years and the unit is still going strong. The members contribute, without compensation, many hours to their fellow citizens and the police division. It takes a special, devoted type of person who will voluntarily step forward to handle jobs which are always challenging, infrequently exciting, often tedious, and rarely (but sometimes) dangerous.

The number of donated hours varies from 1,700 to 2,200 hours per year. A very conservative average of 1,850 hours times 50 years would equal 92,500 hours donated since the Auxiliary Department's founding in 1964. At today’s rate of pay for a police officer, multiplied by that number of hours, equals approximately $3,006,250 saved by the city by NOT having to pay a regular police officer.

The Bay Village Auxiliaries have had all types of people: the young person hoping to improve their resume so they can get hired somewhere as a police officer, the retiree, those wishing to “give something back”, the housewife, the son or daughter of a current or former auxiliary, someone who wants to get a look “behind the curtain” (is it like TV or the movies?), the “wannabe” (but I can’t afford to give up my good-paying day job), likes “lights & sirens” from the GOOD side, etc.

This night was to recognize and honor the current Bay Village Auxiliaries, remember the many who have gone before in the organization’s first half-century of existence, and pay tribute to the ideals of “service provided by the few for the benefit of the many."

The officers present took a ceremonial oath of office in the presence of City Council, Bay Village police officers, family, friends and other guests.

To all those who have served as Bay Village Auxiliary Police, we say “Job well done!”


Answering the midnight call

It’s late at night and you’re sound asleep. You had a hard day at work and you don’t expect tomorrow to be much better. The phone rings, waking you. You look at the alarm clock. It’s 1:23 a.m. Who in the world would be calling you at this time of night?!

It’s the police station. A bad storm has hit the city and there are downed trees everywhere. The desk officer asks if you can come in to take a patrol car and stand by a downed, live power line which is blocking a street. The electric company can give no ETA (estimated time of arrival) on when a repair crew might arrive due to the overwhelming number of outages in the greater Cleveland metropolitan area.

You say you will be there as soon as you get dressed. Only after you hang up do you remember the weather forecast was for a winter storm overnight with lots of snow, accompanied by poor visibility and dangerous wind chills, well below zero. Hours later you come home with just enough time to shower before beginning the new day.

You think to yourself, "Yep, I’m a Bay Village Auxiliary Police Officer, all right!"



These Bay Village auxiliary officers (with the year they joined) were honored at the Dec. 1 City Council meeting: (from left, standing) Greg Tench (2002), Amer Abouhmoud (2014), Sgt. Don Landers (1986), Donald Keister (2008), Matthew Diffenbacher (2014), Timothy Hahn (1999), Kevin Ortiz (2002), Gary Aheimer (2011), James Kettren (2002), Victoria Dehmalo (2011), Sean Derenzo (1992), Dave Sisco (1986), Art Brown Jr. (2012), Capt. Paul Hartranft (1972), Tim Rasgaitis (2014); (from left, kneeling) Police Chief Mark Spaetzel, Sgt. Sam Ursetti (2001), Police Lt. Calvin Holliday, Lt. Guy Rosa (1997), Lt. Jeff Hartz (1987). Not pictured: Mickey Banasiak (2002), Herbert (Curt) Brugh (1999), Kris Krulik (2003), Keith Stevens (1987), Jack Weir (1989).

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:40 AM, 12.09.2014