In 1950, the 81st Congress of the United States of America passed the Public Law #920, entitled "The Civil Defense Act of 1950" authorizing a Federal Civil Defense Program. In 1951, the New York State Legislature enacted the "Defense Emergency Act" requiring counties and cities across New York to recruit, train, equip, and maintain volunteer Civil Defense wardens who would perform crowd control, traffic control, shelter policing and other assistance to police officers in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
State penal law provided peace officer status for the Civil Defense wardens during the event of an actual natural or man-made disaster or attack, or during training drills. When the Civil Defense Headquarters closed, the Civil Defense Headquarters placed full responsibility of the Auxiliary Police Program with the Niagara County Office of Emergency Services. Once the NCOES took responsibility of the Program, they renamed the title of Civil Defense warden to Auxiliary Police officer, changed the uniform to the police officer uniform, and expanded the duties of the volunteers.