Husband and wife duo, Adil and Somayya Ibrahim, are training to join the ranks of the 20 Precinct Auxiliary force. Adil first encountered the Auxiliary Police while living in Detroit and working as an EMT. In his free time, he got deeply involved in the Royal Oak Auxiliary Police Department. Although Royal Oak is a relatively quiet suburb, Adil was struck by how much behind the scenes work went into keeping the community safe. A few years later, career opportunities brought Adil to New York City.
One of the first decisions Adil made when he arrived in NYC was to join the Central Park Precinct Auxiliary Police. Being part of Auxiliary helped open his eyes to the City around him and solidify his identity as a New Yorker:
“I never had quite a sense of belonging here until I joined the NYPD Auxiliary. Now, when I see a broken window or a light post out, I make a point to report it. I feel a sense of responsibility for the City.”
Somayya was originally drawn to Auxiliary through Adil’s enthusiasm. Although Somayya volunteered at different locations throughout the City, she hopes the structure of Auxiliary will allow her to immerse herself in community service in a more meaningful way. Through her job at the Columbia University Earth Institute, Somayya developed a love for working with civil servants and local politicians. She feels being an auxiliary police officer is another great way to “connect with the people who are at the center of everything and make decisions that affect everyone.”
Although Somayya has only attended three Auxiliary training sessions thus far, she is already seeing the City in a new light. Somayya’s most recent training involved learning how to manage a street fair. In the past she has attended countless street fairs, but her new training has given her a greater understanding of the planning and security measures that go into keeping New Yorkers safe every day. In her own words:
“It lets me see New York from a completely different lens and become immersed in the City that we call home.”
As new residents of Washington Heights, the couple hopes that serving in the 20 will help keep them connected to their old Upper West Side neighborhood. For anyone who is interested in joining Auxiliary, but hesitant to take the plunge, Adil has a few words:
“If you want to inject discipline, structure, and purpose into your daily life then I would absolutely suggest considering the Auxiliary Police.”