ESCONDIDO — The city is looking for tomorrow’s police officers today.
The Escondido Police Department and Explorer Post 2600 is currently recruiting for its Police Cadet program.
This is a volunteer position, which is dedicated to teaching young men and women about law enforcement as a potential career. Escondido Police Cadets participate in community events, provide traffic control, ride along as an observer with police officers, assist police personnel in various aspects of law enforcement and are mentored by law enforcement professionals.
Each candidate goes through a training and probation period and also is encouraged to attend the annual San Diego County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, which is a live-in training experience at University of California, San Diego held the second week of August.
Applicants must be enrolled in high school, college or home schooled and maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age and have not yet reached their 20th birthday. Potential recruits, though, can apply if they are 15-and-a-half years old.
All applicants under 18 must have consent from a parent or guardian.
In addition, applicants must be of good moral character, with no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions and willing to work in a dynamic, fast paced environment.
Orientation will be held in the Community Room of the Escondido Police Department, 1163 N. Centre City Parkway, at 7 p.m. on Jan. 23. Interested parties under the age of 18 must bring a parent with them to the orientation.
Applications will only be given out at this meeting and positions are limited. Upon receipt of an application, each candidate will be interviewed, physically tested and submit to a background check.
Indications of drug or alcohol use or prior arrests may disqualify an applicant, and indications of current drug or alcohol use or any felony convictions will disqualify an applicant.
All applicants who are accepted into the program will be expected to attend a one-week live-in academy at UCSD.
Once accepted into the program, Escondido Police Cadets are required to attend two meetings, special events and community outreach events and one patrol ride-along per month. This is a total of approximately 30 hours per month of volunteer work.
Meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month and attendance is mandatory.
Cadets receive hands-on training on subjects such as traffic control, enforcement stops, interviewing witnesses and conducting investigations into serious crimes.
Cadets also participate in special events such as assisting at sobriety checkpoints, traffic control at special events including parades, street fairs and various events interacting with the community.
During monthly ride-a-longs, cadets use the police radio, assist with paper work and directly participate in most calls for service.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.