Devon and Cornwall Police is to use "distance learning" to help boost training of special constables to hit targets set by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg.
Mr Hogg pledged in his police and crime plan to increase the force's Special Constabulary from 600 to 800 by 2017 and provided Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer with the necessary funding.
The force is now planning to use distance learning and new technology to increase the rate of training, describing the recruitment pilot as "groundbreaking".
Ros Penny, the force's head of learning and development, said: "Our training team is genuinely excited by the opportunity to support operational policing in such a new and innovative way.
"As educational approaches develop, we know that many people have become accustomed to different ways of learning and technology helps us to meet their needs in a more efficient and convenient way. This approach provides tangible savings for us too.
"So this initiative is an exciting opportunity to trial some of the new approaches we have developed and we look forward to assessing how they work for people who want to serve their communities, and develop themselves, as members of the Special Constabulary."
Special Constables are volunteers who work alongside police and police community support officers. They have the same powers as a full-time police officer including the power of arrest.
To achieve Mr Hogg's target of 800 specials the force needs to train an additional 65 recruits this financial year, on top of the 120 it had already budgeted for. Each training group has 40 students who undertake residential training over 12 weekends at police headquarters in Exeter.
The force said adding two extra courses to its schedule would cause capacity issues within the training department. The solution is to deliver an additional traditional, classroom-based course for 40 recruits alongside another distance learning course for 25 students.
They will use computer-based training modules to complete much of their course, combined with four or five weekends of operational training. The police said running the courses concurrently would satisfy recruitment demands and mitigate any risk should the pilot prove unsuccessful.
Mr Hogg said: "The distance learning option not only provides significant short and long-term cost savings, in the region of 30 per cent, it also means that people who would not have previously volunteered to join the Special Constabulary, but who are who are committed to making their communities better places to live, may now do so.
"Special Constables play an important role in forging strong links between the police and local people.
"I believe that there is great potential to increase the number of specials and for the force to benefit from the skills and backgrounds they have."