“Cadets, left face.” One by one, each cadet fired off their name.
At last Monday’s City Council meeting, the City Council presented certificates to the graduates of the recent summer junior police academy.
Police Chief Doug Solomon helped start the program over a year ago. “After recognizing the sensitive and fragile nature of the relationship the police have with the community,” said Solomon, “I really wanted to put something in place to start building trust.”
The program was initially just the junior cadet program. It became a “full-time cadet program with the goal of grooming some of these young people for careers in law enforcement,” said Solomon.
Cadets first start off as junior cadets in the junior police academy program. At its completion, they are given the opportunity to continue on with the official cadet program. They train until they reach the age of 20. At the age of 20, cadets become eligible to apply for the police department.
While being a part of the junior police academy, cadets were given a taste of life in law enforcement. Cadets would attend weekly meetings on Monday nights where they were given various blocks of instruction.
Cadets would go on field trips to places like the City of Newburgh Courthouse. These fieldtrips helped cadets learn more about criminal justice and law enforcement. In addition, cadets went through police training.
The program also prepared cadets for other career paths. Cadets learn basic functions like timeliness, hygiene, and professionality.
Cadet Gursharn Singh recently moved onto the auxiliary police program and just took the city police test. Singh has been with the program for a year and a half. Singh was the first cadet at age to join the auxiliary police program. Solomon presented Singh as an example of the success of the cadet program, and the bright future it holds.