(1) The director of the Florida Highway Patrol is hereby authorized to establish an auxiliary to the Florida Highway Patrol to be composed of such persons who may volunteer to serve as members of an auxiliary to the Florida Highway Patrol as defined in s. 943.10(8).
(2) Members of an auxiliary serving with the Florida Highway Patrol shall at all times serve under the direction and supervision of the director and members of the Florida Highway Patrol. After approval by the director on an individual basis and after completion of a firearms course approved by the director, members of an auxiliary, while serving under the supervision and direction of the director, or a member of the Florida Highway Patrol, shall have the power to bear arms and make arrests. Members of an auxiliary shall have the same protection and immunities afforded regularly employed highway patrol officers, which shall be recognized by all courts having jurisdiction over offenses against the laws of this state.
(3) The director of the Florida Highway Patrol shall determine the fitness of persons to serve as members of an auxiliary, shall require their completion of a regularly prescribed course of study for members of an auxiliary as established and conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol. The total number of members of the auxiliary to the Florida Highway Patrol shall be limited to 5 times the total number of regularly employed highway patrol officers authorized by law.
(4) No member of the auxiliary shall be required to serve on any duty of and for said auxiliary without his or her consent thereto. The duties of the auxiliary shall be limited to assisting the Florida Highway Patrol in the performance of its regularly constituted duties.
(5) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any volunteer highway patrol troop surgeon appointed by the director of the Florida Highway Patrol and any volunteer licensed health professional appointed by the director of the Florida Highway Patrol to work under the medical direction of a highway patrol troop surgeon is considered an employee for purposes of s. 768.28(9).
(6) The director of the Florida Highway Patrol may present to an officer who retires from the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary after a minimum of 20 years of service one complete uniform, including the badge worn by that officer; the officer’s service handgun, if one was issued as part of the officer’s equipment; and an identification card clearly marked “RETIRED.”