The freeze and now gradual thaw on regular police officer recruitment has meant that the role of the volunteer police officer (or special constable), has become increasingly important to the police service. This pool of over 19,000 part-time volunteer police officers is viewed by many within the police service as a potential recruiting ground for new regular officers. A research study was conducted over six months following a group of new part-time volunteer police officers as they were first exposed to operational policing. The research utilised a range of methods to gather data on their initial and changing motivations and career aspirations. The research confirmed that the role is viewed by many of the volunteer police officers sampled as a means through which they may gain employment as regular police officers and generally their motivations to achieve this policing role are high. The part-time volunteers also reported using this experience to help them decide if a full-time policing career is for them.