Special Conservator of the Peace

Any individuals who have been appointed by a Circuit Court to perform only those powers, functions, duties and responsibilities authorized within such geographic limitations as the court may deem appropriate.

As of July 1, 2015, if you are seeking a new appointment or a reappointment with a circuit court, the law requires you to submit the standardized application, created by the Supreme Court of Virginia, Office of the Executive Secretary.

The forms may be accessed at the Supreme Court of Virginia website: www.courts.state.va.us/forms/circuit/civil.html

As of July 1, 2015, all individuals appointed or seeking appointment as a SCOP, must be registered with the department. No exemptions from registration exist under Virginia law.

Yes. The PSSAB shall have one member who is a Special Conservator of the Peace.

You must be a minimum of 18 years of age; a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States; and successfully complete all application requirements for registration as a special conservator of the peace, to include a background investigation, which must be completed by a law enforcement agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The background investigation is separate and distinct from the criminal history check, which only shows your arrest and conviction history.

A temporary registration letter will be given to the individual when they have completed all the registration requirements. The letter will state that they are now eligible to seek appointment with the Circuit Court as a Special Conservator of the Peace. If the individual’s order of appointment is granted, the individual is required to file a copy of their appointment order with the department and the law enforcement agency in which they have been granted authority. The Circuit Court maintains all discretion of granting appointments. The temporary registration letter only allows an individual to become eligible to seek appointment. Once the individual files their appointment order, DCJS will issue a registration card.

DCJS may grant training exemptions based upon prior law enforcement experience or prior experience as a Special Conservator of the Peace. Individuals must submit the partial training exemption application (PSS_WA), fee and documentation of training/experience in order to be considered for a waiver. 

No person with a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor involving (a) moral turpitude, (b) assault and battery, (c) damage to real or personal property, (d) controlled substances or imitation controlled substances as defined in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, (e) prohibited sexual behavior as described in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, (f) firearms, or (g) any felony, shall be registered as a special conservator of the peace.  In addition to existing barrier crimes, anyone who is required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registrations is not eligible for registration with DCJS. 

No. Being registered only makes you eligible to seek appointment as a Special Conservator of the Peace. The courts have the final authority in granting appointments. 

If your training is within 12 months of application for a Special Conservator of the Peace registration, you will not be required to retake firearms training.

Each person applying for registration shall file with the department:

  • A properly completed registration application provided by the department;
  • A properly completed fingerprint form provided by the department and one completed fingerprint card (Card No. FD-258);
  • Drug and Alcohol Test conducted by First Lab;
  • Documentation verifying completion of training with a certified Virginia law enforcement agency (PIC form), certified Virginia private security services training school or waiver application for prior training;
  • A background investigation, which must be completed by a law enforcement agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The background investigation is separate from the criminal history check ;
  • A certificate of insurance, showing a policy of comprehensive general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $10,000 issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Virginia. Cash and surety bonds are not accepted.

You must contact FirstSource Solutions at 1-800-732-3784.

Each week First Lab provides the results of the drug test to DCJS.

Yes, you may appeal with a request for an Informal Fact Finding Conference through the Administrative Process Act.

You can obtain insurance from an insurance company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Yes. Appointments are limited up to 4 years.

They are valid for 12 months. Registrations must be renewed every year to include completion of in-service training.

Yes. All individuals must take some training to become registered. However, you may qualify for a partial exemption. The partial exemption application (PSS_WA), fee and documentation must be submitted before a partial exemption will be granted. The amount of training waived depends on your training and/or experience. 

The compulsory minimum entry-level training hour requirement by category, excluding examinations, practical exercises and range qualification, shall be:

  • Unarmed special conservator of the peace - 24 hours
  • Armed special conservator of the peace - 40 hours


The compulsory minimum in-service training hour requirement by category, excluding examinations, practical exercises and range qualification, for a Special Conservator of the Peace shall be 8 hours.

  • Unarmed special conservator of the peace - 8 hours
  • Armed special conservator of the peace - 10-12 hours

Jurisdictions are decided by the Circuit Court where you are petitioning.

No. You can begin the registration process and take training without previously being a SCOP, however you must be employed by an authorized applicant pursuant to 19.2-13 (A). 

You seek appointment in the jurisdiction where you will be providing Special Conservator of the Peace Services.

First, you will need to register with DCJS. Once DCJS sends you a temporary registration letter making you eligible to seek appointment, you must then petition the Circuit Court for appointment.   The temporary registration letter only allows an individual to become eligible to seek appointment.  Once the individual files their appointment order with the department, the department will send a final registration letter and a photo identification card will be issued.

No. The courts decide the jurisdiction and scope of powers they grant to each individual.

Yes, but you must petition each Circuit Court in each jurisdiction requesting Special Conservator of the Peace authority separately.