How to Become a Class 1 Officer


Most local law enforcement organizations include a seasonal rank known as "Special Officer Class I." These officers are often used during a community's "tourism" season, especially during the summer. They are utilized to provide additional manpower during a time when there is an influx of people in the community. While they do not hold the rank of a full law enforcement officer, they are granted some police powers. As such, they are typically given tasks such as parking and traffic ticketing and other low-risk assignments.


  • Contact your local or surrounding police stations to inquire about a positions as a Class I officer.

  • Obtain the appropriate forms and complete the application process, as required by the individual police department.

  • Apply to a local police academy for training as a special officer class I.

  • Present the academy administration with documentation from the police department stating their intent to hire you as a class I officer upon your graduation from the academy. Unlike a regular police training program at the academy, the special officer program requires the sponsorship of a police department for the student to be admitted into the program.

  • Go through several weeks of training at the academy. Areas of focus will be criminal law, traffic law, first aid and the use of force for self-defense. The exact amount of time required will vary depending on the academy rules for the program.

  • Present your certification of completion to the police department to complete the application process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each police department may have a different training program for special officers. For example, some larger departments may have an in-house training program, so you may not have to apply to the state police academy.
  • Also note that as a special officer, you will not be permitted to carry weapons; law enforcement powers are extremely limited in that arrests cannot be made. Should an arrest-worthy situation arise, you will be required to call for backup so an officer that has been granted full law enforcement powers can make the arrest.
  • Also keep in mind that in most cases, a class I officer position is a seasonal, part-time position. Class I officers are typically used to supplement a stretched-thin police force during seasonal community activities.

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