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Pottawattamie County Special Deputy Sheriffs

501(c)(4) non-profit and unit of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office

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law enforcement community service non-profit

Special Deputies are volunteer, sworn reserve officers in the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office who help with patrol, community events, and more. Members run and are supported by a 501(c)(4) that helps pay for training and equipment.

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Serving the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office

Special Deputies serve as sworn, part-time employees of the Sheriff's Office. In exchange for a salary of $1 per year, we work together and alongside our regular deputies to protect and serve the citizens of Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

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Serving Pottawattamie County, Iowa

The purpose of our non-profit organization is to be of assistance to and lessen the burden of the government of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, by supporting the efforts of the Sheriff's Office's force of reserve peace officers to promote social welfare, i.e., the common good and general welfare of the County.

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Serving the State of Iowa

Special Deputies swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Iowa. All Specials are required, by our own regulations and Iowa Code, to obtain their State Certified Reserve Peace Officer credential through the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

What We Do

Special Deputies serve in unique ways. We help our community and enhance the capabilities of the Sheriff's Office by leveraging our diverse backgrounds and skillsets.


Enforcing traffic laws, responding to calls for service, and deterring criminal activity by providing a visible presence — in a word: patrol — is the backbone of law enforcement.

Specials patrol with regular deputies, with other Specials, and, once they have sufficient training and experience, on their own.

Community Events

Our residents like to keep busy — so do our 1.2 million neighbors. From concerts to festivals, parades, and high school sports, there's always lots to do.

Specials keep our citizens safe by providing a rapid response law enforcement presence, doing traffic control, and augmenting our regular force of sheriff's deputies.

Special Assignments

When disaster strikes, or when the Sheriff needs all hands on deck, Special Deputies answer the call. Whether it's flooding, a presidential visit, or the RAGBRAI bike race, we're here to help.

Specials provide additional staffing when our County needs us. We've aided in search and rescue operations, provided relief for tired regular deputies, and helped hold perimeters to secure crime scenes and apprehend criminals.


Modern reserve officers are highly-trained, professional volunteers. Special Deputies receive basic instruction as part of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy's curriculum for State Certified Reserve Peace Officers. We also do tours in our Civil, Court Security, Dispatch, Investigations, and Jail divisions.

Specials are expected to meet high standards. After our initial training, we attend monthly in-service training alongside our regular deputies. Continued training, including weapons qualifications, are requirements of the job.

  Our fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.  
 Article V, Section 2

Special Deputies make up the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office's reserve force. We serve as deputies of the Sheriff, entrusted to act on their behalf, and comprise a unit within the Sheriff's Office. In addition, we operate our own, independent 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation to support our activites as well as train and equip new Specials.

Our modern reserve unit traces its history back to 1961, and our non-profit organization adopted its first bylaws in 1964. Those bylaws were amended in 1987. In January 2021, sixty years since the founding of our modern force, we adopted our current bylaws which include a code of conduct by which all members are bound.

Bylaws Certified 2021-01-14 [PDF]