More than 600 new volunteer police officers will be patrolling South Yorkshire’s streets by 2015.
A recruitment drive for special constables was launched by South Yorkshire Police on Monday 3rd June to meet the target.
The force says the move will improve visible policing across the county.
Special constables, or specials, are volunteers who have the same powers as regular officers and are indistinguishable in their uniforms.
Yesterday, Monday 3rd June, the first recruitment stall was held at Doncaster Council’s Civic Building for members of the public and Doncaster Council staff to speak to officers about what being a special entails.
Special constables have the same training as regular officers and they will each have their own mentor.
Chf Con David Crompton said: “In South Yorkshire we have the most dedicated and high performing group of specials in the country.”
“Furthermore, we use the special constabulary for a wider range of duties than almost any other force.”
He urged anyone interested in joining as a special constable to sign up.
He said: “It is not just about helping cut crime in the community, it is also about building upon your own skills and it is about enjoying the challenge of working in a totally new environment.”
Commissioner Shaun Wright said the recruitment drive supported his election pledge and policing priority to improve visible policing.
He said: “I encourage people from a wide variety of backgrounds and age groups to get involved and become special constables, to represent their neighbourhood and help shape the police and community services.”
Chief officer Stephen Merrett said: “The special constabulary has never been better placed in its ability to assist in policing the communities within South Yorkshire.”
“The training, development and the diversity in deployment of special constables makes the special constabulary a credible resource than can be relied upon.”
“This unprecedented increase in the number of special constables will further enhance its capability.”
Senior police officers are approaching all major employers in South Yorkshire to encourage their staff to become specials.
South Yorkshire Police is also visiting colleges, school fairs, community events and summer fairs over the summer and there is information on the force’s website.
Potential applicants should be 18 to 65 years-old, be able to work a minimum of 16 hours a month and be living, working or studying in South Yorkshire.
South Yorkshire Police want people from a wide variety of backgrounds and age groups to represent the community.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a special call 0114 2197000 or visit www.southyorks.police.uk