Cambridgeshire Police Federation has called for proper investment in the police after leaked documents revealed the Government was considering setting up a reservist police force.
A report in the Telegraph said retired officers, or those who have left the service early, could also be retained for a period to bolster numbers, especially in experienced ranks.
But Police Federation officials said rushed new policies were not the answer to the challenges faced by policing.
Cambridgeshire Police Federation branch chair said: “The Government needs to address the pressing issues surrounding policing at the moment such as pay, conditions, retention and recruitment before coming up with these new ideas.
“Proposals for a reservist police force are news to us – once again we found out about it in the newspaper – and there are lots of questions we would like to ask before this goes any further.”
National Federation chair John Apter said: “Yet again we find out about a proposed piece of Government policy through the media, and we have not seen any details on the reserve capability of volunteer officers.
“It is also important to highlight the fact we already have a group of dedicated, professional, fully-warranted volunteers called Special Constables, who give up thousands of unpaid hours a month while facing the same risks and dangers as regular officers.
“In addition to the fantastic contribution Special Constables make, the service needs sustainable, long-term funding to make a tangible difference, not a Government scrabbling about to see who will do policing for free.”
According to the Telegraph, a police force reserve would operate along similar lines to the armed forces reserve with recruits being called upon in times of increased demand to support regular officers.
It said the idea was supported by a number of leading officers and also has backing within the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.