Any individual who wishes to become a D.C. Special Police Officer (DCSPO) must go through the training requirements established by D.C. law, before being commissioned by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Special Police Officers (SPOs) must complete the following minimum training to include topics as mentioned in D.C. Municipal Regulations (DCMR) Title 6A, Chapter 11:
(a) Be a United States citizen by either birth or naturalized;
(b) Be at least 21 years of age;
(c) Have at least a minimum of a high school diploma or GED;
(d) Be able to read, write, and speak the English language;
(e) Each applicant for certification shall be required to submit a physician's certificate stating, to the best of the physician's knowledge after examining the applicant, the following:
(1) The applicant is not presently addicted to drugs or alcohol;
(2) The applicant is not suffering from any debilitating mental defect or disorder; and
(3) The applicant is not suffering from serious heart disease, severe epilepsy, or other physical defect which might cause substantial loss of control in situations of severe stress.
(f) Pass a medical drug exam;
(g) SPOs shall be required to satisfactorily complete pre-assignment, on-the-job, and in-service training programs which have been prescribed and approved by the Mayor.
(h) Pre-assignment training shall include at least sixteen (16) hours of training on arrest powers, search and seizure laws, the District of Columbia Official Code, and the use of force. Pre-assignment training shall include an additional twenty-four (24) hours of training generally relating to the special police officer's duties and specifically including:
(1) Terrorism awareness, including building evacuation, unattended packages, and unknown substances;
(2) Emergency procedures, including evacuation and first-aid; and
(3) Customer service and interaction with tourists.
(i) Special police officers who are armed shall satisfactorily complete an additional forty (40) hours of firearms training.
(j) Special police officers who carry a baton, handcuffs, or OC spray shall also complete additional training required by the brand of equipment they are carrying.
(k) Special police officers shall satisfactorily complete a sixteen (16) hour, on-the-job training course within ninety (90) working days following employment, and an 8-hour annual in-service training course;
(l) No polygraph exam is required;