Police Chief Pitches Auxiliary

ST. MARYS — School security could get a boost if city councilors sign off on new legislation one law enforcement official says could save money and help the battered General Fund.

During Monday night's city council meeting, St. Marys Police Chief Mark Ernst addressed councilors regarding the re-establishment of a police auxiliary force for the city of St. Marys.

Ernst said the city had an auxiliary department that was established in the mid-1950s, but participation fizzled out in the 1990s.

"I think it's time to bring it back for several reasons," Ernst said. "My initial reason was to bring it back as a supplemental form of school security. School security is a priority for me ... I was hoping to use this supplementary, unpaid auxiliary to help out with some school security."

Ernst also noted he believes the auxiliary will help save the city money in terms of overtime costs. Event staffing is the third leading cause of overtime for the department — a figure Ernst said the auxiliary could eliminate.

"An unpaid auxiliary could fill a lot of those positions at no cost to the city," Ernst said.