The Nutley Board of Commissioners paid tribute to former members of the township’s Auxiliary Police at last week’s meeting, thanking them for the volunteer service they provided for many years.
The auxiliary force was deactivated by the township Dec. 31, 2012, in favor of special officers.
Nutley Police Chief John Holland said the auxiliary force was founded in the 1940s to assist in Civil Defense-related matters. Later, he said, their duties morphed into responding to emergencies, such as severe storms, and various types of civic events, such as parades and other public functions.
As a rookie cop, “I remember them riding around, seeing me and telling me I was wearing my [police] uniform incorrectly,” the chief quipped.
Mayor Alphonse Petracco, who heads the Public Safety Department, commended the auxiliaries for their dedication. “And they did it for free – they’re going to be hard to replace,” he said. “They always rose to the occasion.”
The honored auxiliaries, who were given plaques in recognition of their service, were: Director Robert DeLitta, Chief Jack Casale, Legal Advisor Anthony Iannarone, Capt. Raymond Bresko, Capt. Thomas Torrillo, Lt. Ismael Agosto, Lt. David Ervolino, Sgt. Randolph Alfaro, Sgt. Pragnesh Bhatt, Sgt. William O’Donnell and Officers Oliver Allen, Manuel Cepeda, Abby Jacob, Michael Latona and Juan Santiago.