While at least one neighboring jurisdiction plans to
issue guns to volunteer auxiliary police officers, the
Arlington County Police Department isn't considering the
According to press reports, the District of Columbia's
Metropolitan Police Department has decided to issue guns
to volunteer officers who complete training and pass the
required background and psychological tests.
According to The Washington Post, the armed volunteers
in the District will be able to perform all of the
duties of a sworn officer, including making arrests.
While Arlington has its own auxiliary force, there is no
plan “at this time” to arm them, police officials said.
Arlington's auxiliary officers carry pepper spray and
ASP (Armament Systems and Procedures) expandable batons.
“The auxiliary officers have batons and pepper spray,
which is quite a responsibility already,” said Det.
Steve Gomez, a spokesman for the department. “It's a
very different atmosphere here.”
Although Virginia law allows jurisdictions to authorize
auxiliary officers to make arrests, Arlington's police
department does not authorize its 21 auxiliary officers
to do so.
In Arlington, auxiliary officers are assigned to either
traffic, tactical, parking or crossing-guard units,
which are special-operations sections within the
Auxiliaries support other units within the department as
uniformed patrols and bike patrols, and by participating
in community policing initiatives and criminal
The Arlington County auxiliary police force was formed
in 1942 to serve as a supplement to police officers,
whose numbers at the time were depleted because of the
All members of the auxiliary police force are required
to contribute a minimum of 180 hours a year to the