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Syracuse Police Department offers paid junior cadet training program

syracuse police cadet 2013.jpg
Syracuse Police Department facebook page
David Gilbertson, Sergeant Syracuse Police Training Division, coaches a junior cadet through PT in 2013. Cadets for the new paid program must be 16 to 24 years old.

The Syracuse Police Department is offering youth a 50-week Junior Cadet paid training program starting this week. It’s part of a broader effort to make changes or reforms to the police department. They're also trying to connect with youth who have an interest in public safety or just being helpful members of the community. Public Information Officer Lieutenant Matt Malinowski the program is open to youth and young adults ages 16 to 24.

"What I like is the work experience component that they are getting paid for. There are many jobs within the police department that you don't have to be a sworn officer. We have a very robust civilian workforce that supports the department in accomplishing its mission. These cadets will be able to have a meaningful impact, and their work will actually be servicing the community."

It’s the first time Malinowski recalls the department has offered paid training in the classroom at $13 an hour or $13.20 an hour during work experience hours. Cadets who successfully complete the training will be eligible for full-time civilian positions. Malinowski says it’s a way to attract energetic and active youth for a field that is physically demanding.

"I really like that there's a physical fitness component because we lose a lot of people who don't have the required physical fitness to even become a police officer. Making sure we're educating them on that topic early on, and making them participate in the physical aspect is going to be super important. You can have the best future police officer in the world, but if they can't meet that physical fitness requirement, they are locked out of a job."

The lieutenant says down the road, there are also pay incentives for those who seek higher education or speak another language. He points out there are many units within the department.

"At least the city police environment, you get a wide range of things you can do here. If you want to become a detective, work your way up the ranks, work in the schools, SWAT Team, bomb squad, there are all sorts of units that are specialized and unique, crime scene unit, homicide squad,so there's a lot to do here."

Malinowski encourages youth to take the Onondaga County Police Officer exam when they become eligible. Other requirements for the Junior Cadet Program include a high school diploma or GED and no felony convictions. The deadline to apply is July 8th. Applications can be found here.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.