Having been an auxiliary officer in New Jersey and almost a special officer as well, I know that the training requirements for armed specials (I believe they ‘re designated “Special II”) is very extensive. Candidates must be appointed by their local police department and attend a special police academy that runs two to three nights per week, about four hours per night, from September through May. They are trained in basically every aspect of police work as are regular, full-time officers. I also believe that special officers in NJ must be employed — or at least sponsored — by a municipality, not private companies. If I’m incorrect about this, please let me know.
The only specials I heard of who worked for private companies existed maybe 40 years ago, were unarmed, and employed by large companies to conduct traffic control during the beginning and end of the business day. The sole reason they obtained “special” status was so they could legally direct traffic in a public street. They did no other law enforcement work.
I’m thinking that arrangement has probably since changed, inasmuch as New Jersey’s regulations for the employment and training of special and auxiliary police have become significantly more stringent over the past few decades.
The description of the “special police” in this article reminds me of concentration camp guards. That kind of abuse should not be committed by anyone, whether you call them security guards or special police.