Pottawattamie County Special Deputies Organization

Mission Statement

It shall be the aim of the Pottawattamie County Special Deputies Organization to be of assistance to; and act as an official law enforcement agency; under the director and directly responsible to; the duly elected or appointed Sheriff of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. To act in such a manner that will reflect favorably upon the Sheriff and the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) as a whole.

History and Certification

The Pottawattamie County Special Deputies group was organized in 1961 by then Sheriff Roy O. Winchael with fifteen members. The Pottawattamie County Special Deputies group was reorganized into an association in 1974. All members must be approved and sworn-in by the Sheriff of Pottawattamie County.

Once sworn-in, Special Deputies begin about eighteen months of training which is comprised of classroom sessions, hands-on tactics, and field training in order to achieve the mandatory requirements established by the Sheriff, as well as complete several levels of testing required by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) to become a Certified Reserve Peace Officer.


The Specials Organization operates as a 501(c)(4) social welfare non-profit entity. Members of the Organization are also active members of the Iowa State Reserve Law Officers Association (ISRLOA).

Law Enforcement Presence and Activities

Special Deputies volunteer their personal time to serve the citizens of Pottawattamie County and, in accordance with Iowa Code 80D, are paid one dollar ($1) per year. Specials may be required to pay for their own uniforms, duty gear, bullet proof vest, inclement weather gear, and other work-related accessories or equipment necessary to perform assigned tasks. Special Deputies assist the Sheriff's Office with patrols, emergency situations, call-outs, and natural disasters within the County.

The Organization also provides a law enforcement presence throughout Pottawattamie County for a variety of events including public concerts, high school sports and other activities such as dances and graduations, community events, local parades, rodeos, and other special community celebrations. Specials are often called upon by organizations outside the city limits of Council Bluffs including the communities of Avoca, Carson, Crescent, Minden, Neola, Treynor, Underwood, Walnut, and others.

Special Deputies, August 2011

Special Deputies, January 1961


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