Section 62. The colonel may, upon petition of the board of trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, or the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts located in the city of Chelsea, as the case may be, appoint as special state police officers employees of said institutions, who shall have the same power to make arrests as the state police for any criminal offense committed in or upon land or structures within the charge of said boards of trustees, respectively. Such special state police officers shall be sworn before a justice of the peace or notary public who shall make a return thereof to the department upon a form provided by it. Upon receipt of said return the department shall issue a license to each person designated to act as a special state police officer, and such license shall, in any court of the commonwealth, be competent evidence of the validity of the appointment of the person named therein and of his authority to act as such special state police officer. A special state police officer shall hold his office until the petitioner files a notice with the department that the services of such officer are no longer required. The colonel may provide that the license or renewal thereof shall expire on the anniversary of the date of birth of the person named therein not less than one nor more than two years following the date of issue. They shall report to the colonel as to their official acts at such times and in such manner as he may require. They shall serve without pay, except their regular compensation as employees of said institutions, and they shall receive no fees for services or return of any criminal process.