The Wilmington Police Department is re-establishing its Police Cadet apprenticeship program.
Open to young adults 18 to 21 years old, the initiative will give participants experience working directly with police officers and community members.
The department last offered an apprenticeship program in the 1990s.
“We are excited to re-start our department’s historic Police Cadet Program, with an eye towards bolstering relationships with young adults in the community and providing valuable experience to those who might be considering a career in policing,” said Chief Robert J. Tracy. “This program will also expand upon our community engagement efforts as we plan to mobilize cadets during community events alongside our officers.”
Cadets will be paid as part-time city employees and rotate their work schedule through various police department divisions and units.
Following a comprehensive training program, they will provide support to sworn officers for various assignments, conduct traffic control at special events, assist with recruiting, attend community meetings, and assist with special events such as parades and concerts.
Police cadet details
Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, a valid state identification and the ability to work evenings.
They will undergo a background investigation, drug screening, medical examination and interviews.
Cadets will receive uniforms that are distinct and different from those worn by officers, as well as equipment.
Mayor Mike Purzycki said he is pleased the Cadet Program had been restarted. The city needs to familiarize young adults with the work of the police as well as offer valuable experience, he said.
Wilmington has made great gains in recent years to diversify the police force, the mayor said, but the city needs to continue to try and interest young people in a law enforcement career.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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