Career Opportunities in Law EnforcementTopeka Police Cadet Program Law Enforcement Explorer Post #721
What is post 721?It is a Law Enforcement Explorer program associated with the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life Explorer Program and sponsored by the Topeka Police Department. Post 721 has been in existence since 1968 and offers young men and women an opportunity to 'explore' a side of police work that television doesn't. If you meet our qualifications and are interested in learning more about what a law enforcement career may have to offer, then being a police Cadet may be for you. The following is a list of questions and answers that you or your parents may have about the history and function of Post 721.
How Do I become A Police Cadet?If you are between the ages of 14 and 20, have completed the 8th grade, and have never been convicted of a felony crime, the first step in becoming a Police Cadet is to contact the Topeka Police Department's Volunteer Coordinator at 785-368-9237.
How Much Will It Cost?There is a small once a year membership fee of $25.00 that must be paid each January. Cadet Recruits attending the Cadet Basic Training Course must also pay a fee of $12 for their program t-shirt. Cadets who successfully complete the Cadet Basic Training Course may need to purchase a few uniform items.
What About Uniforms and Equipment?Much of the uniform and many items of equipment are supplied to the Cadet free of charge. However, Cadets who successfully complete the Cadet Basic Training Course may need to purchase a few uniform items such as boots and handcuffs. Fundraising opportunities exist to help Cadets purchase the required items if necessary, there are uniform and equipment scholarships on a limited basis.
What Exactly Do Police Cadets Do?The activities of a police Cadet are endless. Besides regularly scheduled meetings, Post 721 provides security and traffic control for such events as the Fiesta Mexicana, Spirit of Kansas, and many more. Cadets 16 and older who have completed a thorough training program may qualify to participate in the ride-along program. Cadets are actively involved in the community, putting in thousands of hours each year as a post. Cadets have also been called upon by the Police Department to assist in searches for evidence, missing persons, victims of crimes, and for helping in the 1983 and 1988 tornadoes. Each year the Cadets attend at least one Explorer competition where they compete against other Explorer Posts in law enforcement events.
Is Being A Cadet Dangerous?Anytime a person puts on a uniform that associates them with a law enforcement organization, they are putting themselves at some risk. A Cadet participating on a ride along is required to wear a protective vest; all projects are monitored by police dispatch. High priority is given to minimizing the Cadet's risk.
What Type of Training Does A Cadet Receive?
During the ten week Cadet Basic Training Course (held on Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 9:00) Cadets receive training in arrest and search, legal aspects of law enforcement, building searches, traffic stops, field interviews, and domestic violence investigations. After completing the Cadet Basic Training Course Cadets receive weekly training in most every area of law enforcement including traffic control, search and arrest, domestic crisis intervention, bomb search, crime prevention, traffic accident investigation, first aid, CPR, and officer safety to prepare them for the ride-along program and Explorer competitions.
As you can see, there is a lot involved in being a Cadet, but there is one thing we have not mentioned: FUN! Every other year Post 721 will attend the National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference, which has been held in locations such as Atlanta, GA and Flagstaff, AZ. There are also a number of activities that have nothing to do with police work at all, just a chance to get together and have a good time. In addition, there are training camps sponsored by different agencies in Kansas.
If you are interested in a career in Law Enforcement or just looking for an exciting and challenging opportunity to expand your horizons, then being a Cadet is for you! For more information call our Volunteer Coordinator at 368-9237.