ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Oro Valley Police Department is training the next generation of law enforcement, this Fall. The department recently resumed its cadet program after the pandemic put it on hold.
"I have family that is in law enforcement. I've always grown up with it and always thought it may be something I want to do. Now, I get to see what it's like," said Oro Valley Police Cadet, Shannon Mcquiggan.
The program trains 14 to 20-year-olds on the basics of being a police officer. They're taught by the men and women that know the job best.
"They will learn how to be resourceful. They will learn accountability along with being responsible for their actions. They will also learn how to succeed and grow within this unit," said Oro Valley Police Department Officer, Joey Cantu.
The cadets participate in drills and practice scenarios that law enforcement encounter every day.
"We accomplish things such as defensive driving, high risk stops, handcuffing, dealing with laws that apply in the world that they can learn. We also give them guest instruction from a canine unit," said Cantu.
They even get practice in the real world. The cadets make appearances at various community events to ensure safety and assist officers.
"I enjoy working with the cadets every single week. It's just really fun seeing the different kind of characteristics and leadership that they can show," said Oro Valley Police Cadet, Lilian Lu.
When they complete the program, the cadets will be ready to take the next step in their education and, hopefully, find their way back to the Oro Valley Police Department.
"I'm actually already enrolled in my first class for college in criminal justice. I want to be a detective or something involving criminal investigations," said Mcquiggan.
Enrollment in the Oro Valley Police Cadet Program is open year-round. For more information on how to sign up, click here.
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