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  • Opinion of "Special Officers"

    Here in CA, the Coroner/Medical Examiner is a peace officer with authority to act in our capisity and to include the protection of life and property and the apprehension of suspects.....blah....blah...blah. I've been a Medical Examiner Investigator (Coroner's Deputy) for six years and believe it or not, I like my job. In these 6 years I have been treated very well by the "traditional" agencies to include extending me every curtosy afforded any other peace officer. Probably 95 out of 100 cases we deal with patrol and for the most part I have been treated and received very well by patrolmen as well as detectives. I currently serve on a special task force with state narcotics enforcement and have served on ad hoc task forces for particular crimes. We have investigators that are members of the Homicide Investigators Association and other more "traditional" peace officer asscoiations. We work hand in hand with numerous special units such as Domestic Violence, Gangs, Intelligience Units, etc. I have never felt like I was the "odd man out" in any situation where I dealt with the traditional agencies. There have been times where I roll up on a scene, get a briefing from the officer and then try to send them on their way so they can get back to work taking calls, providing cover, etc. Only to be told, "No way! I'm already covering you and I'm staying here until you clear". I have heard horror stories by other "Special Officers" of being left hanging out to dry by traditional agencies or treated like third class citizens at a scene. My previous experience is as an MP and we had little dealing with Special Officers. I'd like to hear more opinion from the more traitional officers.
    Be alert...the world needs more lerts!

  • #2
    oh come on guys! I see ya reading this. Speak your mind. I really do want to know where I fit in the picture.
    Be alert...the world needs more lerts!

    Comment


    • #3
      You mean that a medical exam. is a police officer or vice versa.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you conduct yourself in a professional manner, you will likely be treated in a professional manner.

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you accept Special Officers as police or not.

          Would never consider being anything other then a professional
          Be alert...the world needs more lerts!

          Comment


          • #6
            well, I think it's going to depend on where you are, and some of the really big agencies and some of the smallest rely on Reserves/Specials. The term is used interchangeably, though usually "Special" officer means "volunteer."

            I remember hearing a story on NPR last year about LAPD's reserves, and they have a TON, and if I'm recalling correctly, they are volunteer. They partner up for 2 man patrols, and respond to calls etc.

            Up he'ah, Reserves are a fact of life, and the only way most smaller towns can keep their own police and not have to go to SP or County coverage. Reserves have full police powers, and can do everything except chase and spike. The only, only slight predjudice I've ever experienced is by SP, who have no such creature, or anything even remotely resembling it. The rest, from the County to the munies, realize that Reserves bust their backsides for little (and sometimes no) pay and encounter the same risks and liabilities as their FT counterparts.

            I don't take it for granted, and feel very lucky that I work in this climate.

            Comment


            • #7
              There's an unusual social dynamic to it.

              In California, peace officer classifications start with 830.1 of the Penal Code and progress from there up to (I think) 830.6. The 830.1 guys (city pd & county so) tend to have the highest call loads, the broadest variety of calls for service and comprise the vast majority of cops in California. OTOH, the folks in 830.2 and beyond tend to be specialized cops (CHP, University Police, Fish & Game, Consumer Affairs, DMV, Mental Hospital Police, etc.) and much smaller in number.

              Their specializations somewhat limit them when they try to interact with City PD or County SO personnel. For example, a Department of Consumer Affairs Investigator will be extremely familiar with the Business and Professions Code and Administratraive Code, but know little if anything about the Penal or Health & Safety Codes or about how to make high risk stops. Of course, the opposite is true - a city PD officer or county SO deputy may know little about dignitary protection and associated laws while a CHP officers may know these areas like the backs of their hand. This often makes it difficult for people from two different agencies to work together because their training and expertise just don't mesh

              Agency policy also has a hand in some of these divisions. Specialized agencies usually have policies that say if their officers come across something in local PD or SO jurisdiction that is not within their area of specialization, they are to stabilize the situation, detain all parties and turn it over to the locals. While the idea is to avoid stepping on jurisdictional toes and minimize poaching, it also creates the (sometimes false) impression that specialized cops are incapable of handling the most minor of incidents.

              Finally, training differences tend to have a lot to do with it. 830.1 cops go through a five month POST academy while a lot of the specialized cops only see a six week, 832 academy. When you mix officers together that have different levels of training, those with the most training tend to look down their noses at the rest while those with the least training tend to be intimidated by those above them.

              The solution to this is to work officers from different agencies together on a long term basis. This allows them to accept the others as equals because they are now in a position to see that the others are competent.

              Your area of specialization is one where the locals, by law, must depend on you to help complete their case for them. With this in mind, no one is going to look down on you. However, if you were with UCPD and had to call in the locals to your campus because no one in your agency had the expertise and training to handle a homicide in one of the dorms, it's just about guaranteed that you will be regarded as a second class officer.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Originally posted by goober
                usually "Special" officer means "volunteer."
                In NJ it is a little different, SLEO II go through the same academy as Full Time Cops (-) something like 100 hours of training which is nothing, they waive full time academy when your hired if you have already been through the class II training. We have FULL police powers and also carry, only difference is we only have them while on duty. It's a great stepping stone when trying to get in full time. Especially when a town know's they don't have to send you to the academy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hm, Not quite sure I'm understanding NJ... what is the class II training?

                  we too *all* start with the "100 Hour Course" (LE Pre Service) before you can be anything. But then part-timers can only work 1000hours a year and do NOT require the 18 week Academy. If you're hired FT you have to go to the Academy w/in a year.

                  Interesting about the 'only on duty' difference... what does your swearing look like? Mine sure doesn't say anything about on-the-clock or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey goober, maybe this will clear things up a bit.

                    The Police Academy currently conducts three different police basic training courses:
                    Basic Course for Police Officers (BCPO), 764 hours full-time.
                    Basic Course for Class I Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEO I), 80 hours.
                    Basic Course for Class II Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEO II), 600 hours spanning 10 months part-time.

                    Class I Special Law Enforcement Officers are not permitted to carry firearms.
                    Class II Specials are permitted to carry firearms only while on-duty

                    Basic Course For Class II Special Law Enforcement Officers - 31st Class

                    The Basic Course For Class II Special Law Enforcement Officers course consists of 600 hours mandated by the Police Training Commission and includes approximately 81 hours of physical fitness, 56 hours of
                    firearms training, 60 hours of first responder training, 18 hours of side handle baton and over 385 hours of other academic subjects. Classes will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 11:00 p.m.


                    we basically do everything a full time does but only on a part-time basis, and have all the power you guys do but only while working. Some towns use guys on the beach in the summer when the city gets busy, other towns like mine use them to cover shift's or we even have our own shifts.

                    Class I is really just crowd control and traffic routing help.

                    hope this helps bud.

                    Originally posted by goober
                    Hm, Not quite sure I'm understanding NJ... what is the class II training?

                    we too *all* start with the "100 Hour Course" (LE Pre Service) before you can be anything. But then part-timers can only work 1000hours a year and do NOT require the 18 week Academy. If you're hired FT you have to go to the Academy w/in a year.

                    Interesting about the 'only on duty' difference... what does your swearing look like? Mine sure doesn't say anything about on-the-clock or not.
                    Last edited by dvsmnstr; 08-12-2005, 10:06 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would have to say that a lot of people here think that we as airport police are security but thats false. We went through the same 25 week training academy with the other surrounding jurisdictions and we are certified LEO's in the state of VA. It was really funny when I was pacing a guy at 96 mph for 2 miles and he gave me the finger. I had noticed he had changed lanes multiple times without signaling and cut off other veh. so with that i cited him for reckless driving and improper hand signal! It flew in court to.... His answer for doing what he did...... You guys are special police, you dont have any jurisdiction!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dvsmnstr
                        In NJ it is a little different, SLEO II go through the same academy as Full Time Cops (-) something like 100 hours of training which is nothing, they waive full time academy when your hired if you have already been through the class II training. We have FULL police powers and also carry, only difference is we only have them while on duty. It's a great stepping stone when trying to get in full time. Especially when a town know's they don't have to send you to the academy.
                        Your academy is different than the full time academy. Going for 4 hours a day a few times a week is not the same experience that you'll get going through the regular class. From observing what the Class II's had to do compared to what we had to endure, the F/T class is much more difficult and intense.

                        They will not waive you to full time status after you go through only the Class II academy if the department is prudent. There is a portion of training that you do not receive that you must complete before you become a full time cop. I'm not sure of exactly what, but I believe that you are not given enough training (hours wise) in certain subjects. At least, this was the case back in 96.

                        On that note, many of the specials I've dealt with need to eat a large peice of humble pie. Belmar and Manasquan in particular have a real problem with their specials having disrespectful and holier than thou attitudes toward the general public and other cops. Like it or not, they need to remember they are much lower on the totem pole than they think, and writing/arresting other cops (for BS violations like inspection stickers and loud music) isn't going to do much to help their careers.

                        There is almost no way I'll extend courtesy to any special from Belmar or 'squan. If you're talking about the Heights or Wildwood though, those guys get a free pass no questions asked. They do some real work in those towns.

                        ME's and security guards don't automatically get the 'get out of jail free' treatment, I treat them like anyone else- Good attitude = good chance of a warning.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sorry but you are wronge, I know personally atleast 8 people who have been waived. (well they needed 1 class that lasted about 3 weeks for some statutes) but thats it, I am not in a beach town to just be an extra body. My town has SLEO II's in there own shifts and they do the exact same thing as everyone else. Speaking for myself I know i'm lower on the pole but it's a stepping stone. Also I never said the sleo II class was less intense than full time, but most of my friends who are full-time now say the PT was more strenuous in class II.

                          oh yea and for this comment "and writing/arresting other cops (for BS violations like inspection stickers and loud music) isn't going to do much to help their careers." there just doing the same thing your doing to them when you say "There is almost no way I'll extend courtesy to any special from Belmar or 'squan."

                          gotta remember the door swings both ways.

                          ps. I am not starting any flame war about FT vs. SLEO II so don't head it into that direction. What town are you a LEO in?

                          I looked up and found the waiver info on the NJ state website

                          Individual Successfully Completed the Basic Course for Class Two Special Law Enforcement Officers.

                          The commissioners made a change to the waiver guidelines at their February 4, 2002 Police Training Commission meeting to take effect July 1, 2002. The new SLEO 2 to Regular waiver guidelines are as follows: "Waivers of training may be requested by employers for individuals who successfully completed a Basic Course for Class Two Special Law Enforcement Officers and were appointed as regular officers within a three-year time period. If the individual was not appointed within three years from the last day of class until the date of appointment, he or she would have to be completely retrained in the Basic Course for Police Officers".

                          The appointing authority may request a waiver of the Basic Course for Police Officers by using form PTC-15A, Police Training Commission Request for Waiver of Training -- Special to Regular / Campus Police. (Click Here for Form PTC15A--see below for directions--Revised 03/2002.)



                          Originally posted by cleetus0219
                          Your academy is different than the full time academy. Going for 4 hours a day a few times a week is not the same experience that you'll get going through the regular class. From observing what the Class II's had to do compared to what we had to endure, the F/T class is much more difficult and intense.

                          They will not waive you to full time status after you go through only the Class II academy if the department is prudent. There is a portion of training that you do not receive that you must complete before you become a full time cop. I'm not sure of exactly what, but I believe that you are not given enough training (hours wise) in certain subjects. At least, this was the case back in 96.

                          On that note, many of the specials I've dealt with need to eat a large peice of humble pie. Belmar and Manasquan in particular have a real problem with their specials having disrespectful and holier than thou attitudes toward the general public and other cops. Like it or not, they need to remember they are much lower on the totem pole than they think, and writing/arresting other cops (for BS violations like inspection stickers and loud music) isn't going to do much to help their careers.

                          There is almost no way I'll extend courtesy to any special from Belmar or 'squan. If you're talking about the Heights or Wildwood though, those guys get a free pass no questions asked. They do some real work in those towns.

                          ME's and security guards don't automatically get the 'get out of jail free' treatment, I treat them like anyone else- Good attitude = good chance of a warning.
                          Last edited by dvsmnstr; 08-12-2005, 02:16 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Me, I'll give any cop the world if he is worth his salt.

                            ME investigator showing up at a homicide? Sounds good to me, if your worth a dern. Each of us has our speciality.

                            That said, we need to respect each others official responcibilites also.
                            "In my life I have met many people who were quick to point a finger, and but a few that cared enough lift one"

                            ME

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                            • #15
                              I wish Homicide was all I did as it's only about 5% of my caseload in any given year. Here in CA the Med Exam also does natural death no one can seem to figure out, suicides, accidents (traffics with LE agency) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and a bunch of other stuff that'll drive ya nuts. For the most part a Corner's Case is the coroner's problem. We disposition not only the body but property, vehicals, evidence and all the other B.S. that goes with it. Pretty much try and take it out of patrols hands as much as possible. About the only thing we don't do is disposition of abdondon children. Anyway, I got an answer to my question. I feel a little more appriciated for what I do, then being just a nuisance that has to be tolerated.
                              Be alert...the world needs more lerts!

                              Comment

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