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Summertime Cops

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 35 Issue: 8 Dated: (August 1987) Pages: 65-67
P Horne
Date Published
3 pages
New Jersey's 1986 Special Law Enforcement Officers Act (SLEOA) is intended to upgrade the quality of training for New Jersey's special police officers ('specials'), who serve periodically for short time periods.
Statewide surveys by New Jersey's Police Training Commission (PTC) in 1969 and 1975 revealed that specials were typically poorly qualified, improperly selected, and ill-trained. This was reflected in the performance of specials in the 35 shore resort municipalities over tourist seasons. There have been cases of ineffectiveness, injustices, and abuse of police authority. The SLEOA distinguishes two classes of specials: one class which performs limited duties without firearms and a second class authorized to perform full police powers. The two classes of specials must complete a training course commensurate with their duties and approved by the PTC. The second class of specials must complete a firearms training program similar to that given permanent officers. The legislation also limits the use of specials so as not to infringe upon the employment and performance of permanent officers.