Why not join the Bay Village Auxiliary Police?

Auxiliary officer Tim Rasgaitis works traffic control during a triathlon in Bay Village. Photo by Art Brown

Why not? That was the question I asked myself after reading an article published in the Observer a few years back. The article was written by Lt. Jeff Hartz of the Bay Village Auxiliary Police. He mentioned in the article what is involved and how much personal satisfaction he gets from helping out the community where he was raised. Although I didn’t grow up in Bay, I moved here in 2006 after marrying my wife, Pam, and I just fell in love with the city. It was a breath of fresh air after spending the last 20-plus years living on the west side of Cleveland.

After being in Bay for a few years, I wanted to do something to help my community. Inspired by what I read in Jeff’s article, I decided to fill out an application for the auxiliary. I had been working security part-time for the Indians and the Browns since the late 1980s and worked alongside Cleveland police officers. It was fun. Being part of the auxiliary could be something right up my alley.

I was interviewed and accepted as an auxiliary officer. The meetings and the training started soon after and I knew right away this was something that I was really going to enjoy. In my first few weeks of training I was fortunate enough to ride along in the police cruiser with Sgt. Don Landers who showed me streets and places in Bay that I never knew existed. Next I rode with Capt. Paul Hartranft who gave me a history lesson on Bay Village as we cruised around the city. It was quite interesting and entertaining as he has been an auxiliary member since 1972 and knew quite a bit.

As I got more acquainted with the rest of the auxiliaries and learned more about them, I was amazed by what a diverse group we had. A few members worked in the field of security, but for the most part the rest of the group’s background had nothing to do with law enforcement. My full-time job is an office worker for a large labor union. We have auxiliary members that are hospital workers, city workers, mailmen, ministers, bankers, grocery store workers and even a tug boat captain. All are good people with the common interest to make sure our city continues to be a safe and desirable place to live.

There are a variety of events where the auxiliary are involved. We do traffic control for the many 5K races throughout the city, help with traffic during the annual parades and fireworks show, as well as having a presence at Bay Days. We can be seen at the high school graduation ceremony and the football and basketball games. We assist our regular officers when needed, especially with downed wires or trees, and offer mutual aid to neighboring communities if needed. We have a monthly meeting to go over past and upcoming events and afterwards have a different type of training session. Training includes tactical procedures, traffic control, self defense and much more. Each month our training officer has something different on the agenda for us.

I would encourage any men or women with the desire to give back to your community in a fun and exciting way, to fill out an application. We are looking to add new members at this time and you can pick up an application at the police station. You do not have to reside in Bay.

If you’re not sure, we will be having an open meeting in the near future where you can meet and ask questions of the members and get a tour of the department. You will be able to get a better idea if joining the auxiliary is something you might consider. We will announce the meeting date in a future issue of the Observer when we finalize the details.

Tim Rasgaitis

Lived in Bay since 2006. Married to Pam. daughter Meredith. Member of BV auxiliary police, CERT and help out on the BV green team occassionaly

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:09 AM, 09.19.2017