OAKLAND, CA – Today Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf joined Police Chief Sean Whent and Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Antwan Wilson to announce the expansion of the Oakland Police Department’s Cadet Program, an important element of Mayor Schaaf’s holistic community safety strategy.
Over the next three years, 25 cadet slots will be funded through the $450,000 included in the Mayor’s FY 15-17 City Council-approved budget, and an additional $750,000 from an anonymous gift secured by Mayor Schaaf. The Mayor’s strategy aims to expand the cadet program to include up to 40 cadet slots reserved for Oakland Unified School District graduates.
“I am committed to hiring more home-grown officers who can be compassionate and effective guardians of this community,” said Mayor Schaaf. “Expanding our cadet program will ensure that hard working and ambitious young people from Oakland have the opportunity to explore and develop careers in the field of law enforcement while also completing their college degrees.”
Cadets are hourly part-time employees who receive training and experience in various aspects of the police service. The program is comprised of intensive supervision, counseling, training and evaluation to develop their leadership qualities and prepare them for careers in law enforcement.
“This is an exciting opportunity. We have been seeking to increase our local hiring and we believe this pipeline program will greatly help with that goal,” said Chief Whent. “This is also a great chance for some young people to learn about law enforcement and work in the police department that serves their community. It is our hope that they will go on to long law enforcement careers here in Oakland.”
Earlier this month, Mayor Schaaf also announced the launch of a new law enforcement pre-academy being spearheaded at Merritt College in Oakland. The 13-week program, which started on September 13, is the only community college program of its kind in Northern California, and is led by former Oakland police Officer Margaret Dixon, who heads Merritt’s administration of justice department. It will be taught by Howard Jordan, a retired Oakland police chief who is now an adjunct instructor at Merritt, along with more than a dozen active and retired members of the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Mayor Schaaf said she hopes the new program at Merritt College will attract more good candidates for Oakland’s police academies, which require that participants be at least 21 years old.
Since taking office in January 2015, Mayor Schaaf has sought to increase public safety by taking a community focused approach. Her strategy included the adoption of a FY 15-17 budget that added 40 new police officers to the department, in line with reaching her long-term goal of 800 officers by 2018, as well as looking at ways to proactively increase the number of officers who have connections to the communities they safeguard and look like the community serve.
Applications for the Oakland Police Cadet Program are being accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, please visit http://bit.ly/1K6UuDF. Applicants should be 17.5 – 21 at date of application
Erica Terry Derryck