New Cadet Program Marries Academia and Practical Competencies
– Jace Smith, Chief
At a time when every competitive advantage is important in preparing to join the workforce, Lane Community College Public Safety has partnered with the Criminal Justice Program and specifically Professor John Delnero to create a fabulous opportunity for a few lucky students.
The Cadet Program, a paid cooperative education program, provides exceptional students with the opportunity to obtain extensive training and experience as they serve Lane Community College.
Students in the Criminal Justice program are recommended by Criminal Justice Faculty for this opportunity. Once recommended, students are given a rigorous interview by Public Safety staff. If selected to continue, these students are given an extensive background investigation, drug testing, and physical. If there are no indications to the contrary, students are allowed join the Public Safety staff as Cadets. They undergo up to nine weeks of training and testing that is exactly the same as a new Public Safety officer.
This program allows students to become licensed through the State of Oregon, receive extensive state certified training that will be useful in any Criminal Justice career field, and provides them with the opportunity, under strict officer supervision, to gain law enforcement experience that should increase their marketability in the public sector when they leave Lane.
This novel new program allows students to participate as long as they are in good standing in their Criminal Justice program and a student. When an individual leaves the program or fails to maintain the standards of the Department, their cooperative experience is summarily terminated.
There may also be opportunities for successful students who have performed competently to join the Public Safety Department as part-time officers after their Cooperative experience ends.
This program is far in excess of what is available through internship, service learning, or other traditional learning opportunities. It is a hands-on, responsible approach to teaching, learning, and empowering for future opportunities. Public Safety members collaborated with key stakeholders in human resources, Criminal Justice, and other campus offices to ensure that this program is a rigorous addition to campus learning. While cadets will be virtually indistinguishable from other officers in terms of their appearance, training, and authority, they will not be permitted to work in tandem. They will also only be allowed to work under the supervision of a regular Public Safety officer.
This program has added FTEs to the college and employed about 80% of all cadets (who transition into part-time officer positions.