The NOPD has developed a hands-on cadet program geared toward local high school seniors and college students interested in a career as an NOPD officer.
NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison launched the program in the summer of 2017 in an effort to recruit, educate and mentor local young men and women living in the city.
“We created a cadet program so that we can identify citizens from New Orleans who could be good candidates for police officers, groom them, mentor them and cultivate them into the police culture and prepare them for a career and lifestyle of a police officer,” Harrison said.
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Lieutenant Sabrina Richardson is the cadet lead coordinator. Along with reserve officers Mike Lavasseur and Mitchell Yokum, she created a three-phase curriculum that consists of class sessions and training regarding all aspects of the department. The first phase of the program requires cadets to meet once a week for 12 weeks while the second phase requires cadets to meet biweekly. In the final phase, cadets meet once a month and receive assistance in completing the application process to become a NOPD recruit.
The cadet program also serves to introduce young adults to the field of law enforcement’s principles, ethics, training and teamwork. The NOPD is working in partnership with local agencies including District Attorney’s Office and New Orleans EMS with the program so cadets can understand the workings of law enforcement partners.
Harrison says the program is more than just for recruiting, and is a big part of NOPD’s mission of community policing and transparency.
“We’re also building relationships and we’re changing the perception of the police and of law enforcement to this group of people who will then take it to their network of peers and friends to help change their perception of law enforcement,” he said.
The program graduated five cadets on November 1st. They each received certificates for completing the first phase of the program. One cadet completed the entire program and has already joined the NOPD's 181st Academy class, which is expected to graduate in March of 2018.
“After completion of the program, our cadets will not only be ready to join our department, but they will be well prepared for the task," Richardson said.
- High school seniors up to college students (under the age of 20)
- Interest in a career as an NOPD officer
Anyone interested in joining the youth cadet program, students and/or parents can contact Lt. Sabrina Richardson during normal work hours at 504-658-5488 or email: SRichardson@nola.gov.