With warmer weather somewhere on the horizon and construction at the city’s Festival Park wrapping up, police in New Baltimore, Mich. are preparing for an uptick in park activity. The department’s Cadet Program, started more than a decade ago, brings in the extra help the department needs and gives citizens interested in a criminal justice career an opportunity to gain experience.
“It’s really just a great opportunity,” one former cadet told The Voice . “You typically start in the summer and then work your way up in the field. As a cadet a lot of the focus is on the parks and you take on that responsibility.”
The cadets, paid $8 per hour, patrol city parks and also have the opportunity to experience other aspects of a police officer’s job, including parking enforcement, administrative office work and going on ride-alongs. In addition to the experience, the program opens doors for cadets to move into permanent law enforcement positions.
“This is the golden ticket program,” says police chief Tom Wiley, who was also the program’s first cadet. “It’s a springboard into the profession.”