How to Become a Class 1 Officer

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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.


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.