Park City police launch cadet program, an opportunity to learn about law enforcement
Park City-area young people interested in a career with a uniform and a badge can learn about police work and the criminal justice field during an upcoming Park City Police Department open house.
The agency is preparing to recruit people to participate in the Park City Police Explorer Post, a program that offers a look at the law enforcement profession and an opportunity to work in the field. It is a new program that is open to people between the ages of 14 and 21 and who live in the Greater Park City area, running through Park City, the Snyderville Basin, the East Side of Summit County, Heber City and Wasatch County.
It is essentially a cadet program that will allow them to perform some of the duties of a police officer. Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the people selected could be assigned to assist in traffic controls during special events, could be assigned to the department’s honor guard or may be asked to perform bicycle registrations, as examples. Other assignments could include assisting with organized searches when someone is lost or missing and giving tours of the police station.
Kirk said people who participate in the program will be given preference in Police Department hiring. There is not a set time period for someone to complete the program, meaning it is an open-ended commitment that either the person or the police can end.
“Some of them, we hope, go on to be police officers,” Kirk said.
Kirk said the people in the program will not have police powers, such as the ability to conduct a traffic stop or arrest someone. They will not be assigned a police vehicle or drive a personal vehicle during their shifts. They will not be armed. Kirk said they will sometimes wear a badge but normally will not be wearing one. They will wear informal uniforms provided by the police. Those assigned to special events will be given a police radio to use.
Police Department materials outlining the program say it will help “them grow in strength of character, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship, and patriotism.” The materials also say the program offers benefits like bringing “law enforcement and local residents together to address public safety issues.”
Kirk said he hopes between 20 and 30 people sign up for the program. A background check is required. Some of the qualifications include maintaining a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average and meeting school attendance requirements set by the Park City School District for people in extracurricular activities.
The Police Department wants to start the assignments shortly. Program meetings are scheduled on Mondays from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. and will cover issues like first aid, CPR, traffic control, police procedures, ethics and accident investigations.
An open house is scheduled on Monday, Aug. 31 at the Park Avenue police station, 2060 Park Ave. It runs from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. For more information about the program, contact the Police Department at 435-615-5500 or visit exploring.org/law-enforcement.
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