Special police and Special Police Force are terms which have different meanings in different countries, as described below.
Special Police is not a term used in Canada
. Instead, police who would fall into this role are referred to as Special Constables
Special police is a branch of Croatian Police for Counter-Terrorist duties (SWAT ). It has 5 units called "Special Police Unit" with about 130 members each. The most-elite is ATJ Lučko (Counter-Terrosrist Unit LUČKO ) with headquartera in Lučko (suburb south of Zagreb ).
"Special Police" is not a term actively used in New Zealand
. Aside from the New Zealand Police
, special powers are derived in legislation for Customs Officers
, Fisheries Officers, and also Fire Police
. Of those mentioned, the Fire Police
hold the full legal powers of a Police Constable
when on official duty. Customs Officers, Aviation Security Officers, have limited powers (including the power to arrest
or detain) in particular circumstances.
People's Republic of China
In the People's Republic of China
, the Special Police Units
are their local equivalent of US SWAT
teams. They are tasked with duties that normal patrol officers are not sufficiently equipped to handle, such as riot control and hostage-situations.
The Special Task Force
is a special police unit that is some what equal the US SWAT
teams, however they have broader responsibilities such as Counter-Terrorism
, VVIP protection, bomb and EID disposal
In the United Kingdom Special Police Force
has a special meaning
in law and describes one of the forces defined as such in legislation including :-
They are usually distinguished from other police forces by having duties and responsibilities associated with an activity rather than the geographical areas which are served by a territorial police force.
There are four such forces generally recognised:
Civilians enrolled as auxiliary police officers in the territorial police forces of the United Kingdom are usually referred to as special constables or simply 'specials' but are not members of a special police force as described above.
formerly had three categories of special police: A Specials, who were full-time and paid, but could not be posted outside their home areas; B Specials, who were part-time, usually on duty for one evening per week and serving under their own command structure, and unpaid but given allowances; and C Specials, who were unpaid, non-uniformed reservists, and used for static guard duties near their homes.
The Ulster Special Constabulary was Protestant dominated and seen by the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland as an oppressive force. The Special Constabulary was abolished in 1970.
In United States
terminology, special police can mean:
- Fire Police, members of specialized traffic control units responding with volunteer fire companies;
- Auxiliary Police, members of volunteer, unpaid, part-time civilian police units;
- Special Law Enforcement Officers - Used in New Jersey for traffic and crowd control along beach front towns
- Security police; or
- Company police.
The term can also refer to limited police power granted in some jurisdictions to lifeguards, SPCA personnel, teachers, and other public sector employees which is incidental to their main responsibilities. Special Police officers (or SPO's) can be employed to protect large campuses such as theme parks, hospital centers, and commerce centers.
Some states, such as Maryland, grant full State Police authority to SPOs for use in whatever area they are employed to protect. They can make traffic stops in their jurisdiction if they have had accredited training. They are also permitted to conduct traffic control and investigations pertaining to the area protected by them, While a Majority of SPOS are armed with a firearm, some states permit the age for an SPO to be 18, while still they can not carry a sidearm. Special police can make a criminal arrest and run blue strobe lights on their vehicle.
Special police in North Carolina
In North Carolina
, some private companies have their own special police forces. These include hospitals, hotels, race tracks, and shopping malls and are more properly referred to as "Company Police
". There are also companies that offer contract special police services for a fee to anyone who has property they wish to protect. In the state of North Carolina, special police differ greatly from security companies. Special police officers have full arrest powers on any property they are hired to protect within the state as granted by the North Carolina Attorney General. Special police officers must also attend and pass the Basic Law Enforcement Training program like all other police officers. Security officers
do not have arrest powers as their job is to mainly observe and report.