In the News   


April 6, 2001


Rutherford NJ Auxiliary Police Recruiting
A First-Hand Report

There are now at most only three Rutherford Police Auxiliary recruits left. Last night I passed my practical and written tests for CPR on adults, children, and infants. Needed at least an 80 in the written, got an 82. Perfect. The reason I say three the most is that one of the other guys from my town was having some serious trouble in the practical when I left. I couldn't bear to watch.

This has been more than I bargained for. Late last year, seven Rutherford residents applied for the job. Only five made it through the initial interviews. There were five separate interviews we had to go through. Early this year, one person didn't clear the background check. Down to four.

In mid January, the four of us who remained began training in the Bergen County Police Academy in Mahwah. Monday and Thursday nights from 7 to 11 PM. As Al, Bob, or some others of you may know, I was dealing with a lot of stuff during these classes.

Last Saturday, the day of Juan's party, I drove me and the other three recruits down to Clark, NJ. We had to be there for 6:45 AM. Our police chief told us to just be ourselves, and that we would be home by noon. 

What took place was an hour of vocabulary and math testing, and five hours of grueling psychological testing, followed by interviews by two psychiatrists. Present for the testing was two state troopers, six NJ transit cops, and us four dingbats. I didn't get home until 2:30, and was definitely shot afterwards.

John Gibney (left), with his little ones and Rich Sheppard. 
[click to enlarge]

What has got me pissed off is that one of us four was a woman, and she apparently failed some of this testing, and was bounced from the program the night before the CPR testing. They came to her house at 8:30 and she had to give back all of her uniforms, equipment, and badge. She called me afterward crying her eyes out. When I got to the academy the next day, her name was already off the sign-in sheet. We used to ride up together - I'm going to miss her.

And then people wonder why more people don't volunteer. All we'll make while on duty helping the town is $11 cash an hour + mileage, so we're not in it for the money.

At this point, I have to pass another test on first aid on Monday, then I'm probably home free until graduation on 4/23. State law requires that I put in only 8 hours a month to keep my certification, and I probably won't have time to put in much more than that for a while.

If I make it through, I'll send a picture of me in the uniform to all of you so you can all laugh at me (see picture at top of article).

-- Johnny Gibb