Research on policing has tended to focus on paid and warranted officers, often overlooking the large and, in many jurisdictions, expanding army of volunteers working with or for the police. Where there has been research on police volunteering this has focused mainly on warranted auxiliaries, reserves or special constables. This Special Issue of Policing and Society contains three articles that add to our knowledge and understanding of non-warranted volunteering, and of the lived experiences of those who volunteer. In this introduction we provide some context for these three articles. The articles draw on experiences within England and Wales, yet they are relevant to other jurisdictions that make use of volunteers.