The Framingham Auxiliary Police provided more than 4,000 hours of support to the town last year at community events and during storms, all at no cost to the community, Framingham Selectmen learned Tuesday night.
Auxiliary Police Captain Mark Spigel said auxiliary officers helped dig out cruisers during snow storms, provided child fingerprinting services and performed crowd and traffic control at road races, concerts and other events.
"I guarantee the town doesn't know how much work you do for the town and at no cost to the town," said Chairman Charles Sisitsky, who had invited Spigel to speak to the board.
Framingham Deputy Police Chief Steven Trask called the auxiliary force "the town's hidden jewel" and said it provides important support to the department itself.
Spigel said the Auxiliary force has long been a recruiting tool for the full-time department, with several recent officer hires and one dispatcher hire coming from their ranks. Candidates go through a rigorous screening and testing process and in addition to being volunteers, each invest around $1,800 of their own money to undergo training and purchase needed equipment.
Framingham's auxiliary force is one of about 70 statewide, Spigel said.
Th force is one of the oldest, dating back some 70 years to the earliest days of formal Civil Defense in the Commonwealth, he added.
During last month's blizzard, he said, auxiliary force members were up early and shoveled out the town's fleet of cruisers, having them ready to go when officers arrived for their shift.
The Framingham auxiliary police is currently recruiting a new class, hoping to boost its roster of active members from 20 to 25.
An open house is planned for April 2 at 7 p.m. at the police department.
In other business, Framingham Selectmen:
* Signed a memorandum of understanding with Next Step Living, which will provide outreach, education and residential energy efficiency services to the community.
* Approved a change of hours for Aztec Restaurant, expanding food service hours to 7 a.m. and alcohol license hours to 8 a.m. to accommodate breakfast service.
* Approved taxi license renewals for Tommy's Taxi and JFK Transportation and livery licenses for Tommy's Taxi and Nice Ride West.
Editor's Note: Correction amde at 8:25 a.m. to fix deputy chief's name.