Henry County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Deputy Program

 

 

 

Henry County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Deputies have become a common sight at civic functions throughout the county. Auxiliary Deputies typically contribute over 3,000 man hours of service annually, supporting the presence and role of full-time Henry County Sheriff's Deputies.

The appointment of Auxiliary Deputies is authorized by Illinois Statutes. The Henry County Auxiliary Deputy Program was authorized by the Henry County Board in August of 1980 and the first Auxiliary Deputy was sworn-in in January of 1981. Sheriff James Padilla supervises all Auxiliary activites, and the program is governed by By-Laws developed and approved by the members and the Sheriff. Administration of the program is provided by a President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer, each of whom is elected annually by the membership.

From the very beginning, the Auxiliary Deputy Program has received the overwhelming support of the public. Absolutely no county tax money has been used to finance the operation of the program. Initial start-up costs were paid for by donations from county residents, businesses, and civic groups. Beginning in 1984 the Auxiliary Program reduced dependency on donations and sought financial stability through the presentation of a music show. The intent was to become financially self-sufficient through offering a family oriented music show, which allowed the public to fund the Auxiliary through the purchase of tickets, while receiving something of value in return. With the exception of 1986, this music show has become an annual event.

Proceeds from this annual event, combined with donations from groups which utilize the services of Auxiliary Deputies, serves to finance the training and equipment needs of the Auxiliary Deputies. Additionally, proceeds make possible the funding of occasional county law enforcement needs beyond the Auxiliary Deputy Program.

Auxiliary Deputies are all volunteers. They receive no pay for their time and must contribute toward the total cost of their uniforms and equipment. The cost for uniforms and equipment for each Auxiliary Deputy is approximately $3500, about 20 per cent of which comes out of the volunteer's pocket.

Professionally trained and equipped Auxiliary Deputies can be seen at community functions throughout the county. They act in support of the Sheriff's Office and also help local police departments when requested. They are annually visible at the Henry County Fair in Cambridge, Woodhull's Street Dance, Hooppole's Fun Days, special events in Bishop Hill, Orion's Fall Festival, Geneseo's Victorian Walk and Spring Music Festival, Andover's Heritage Days, Colona's Memorial Day Festival, and Kewanee's Hog Festival Parade. Additionally, they work as needed at special community events, emergencies, and occasional high school sports events. Auxiliary Deputies typically provide these events with a uniformed law enforcement presence, traffic control, enforcement of order, and the control of alcohol.

Other activities of the Auxiliary Deputies which may go unnoticed by the public include such needs as:

 

Prisoner security at area hospitals

 

Assist with prisoner escorts to the Illinois Department of Corrections

 

Surveillance and stakeouts to aid investigations

 

Accompany full-time Deputies on patrol, making a two-man car

 

Providing mounted Auxiliary Deputies on horseback

 

An Auxiliary Deputy K-9 unit, the first K-9 unit in the county

 

An Air Auxiliary Unit providing assistance with aerial search and observation

 

Law enforcement training for Auxiliary Deputies begins with a 40-hour state mandated firearms training course. Training continues throughout the Auxiliary Deputies career. An 80-hour Reserve Officer course is also scheduled, and is updated by monthly classroom and firearms training. Classroom training is provided through the Quad Cities Law Enforcement Training Center and certificates are issued for completed course work. Auxiliary Deputies are also certified in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.

Information on how to become an Auxiliary Deputy is available from the Henry County Sheriff's Office at (309) 937-3911 during normal business hours.