Oakland announces expansion of police cadet program

- The Oakland Police Department announced plans to expand its cadet program on Tuesday in an effort to increase the number of Oakland resident who serve in the department thanks to an anonymous gift.

Mayor Libby Schaaf called the expansion the OPD Pipeline Project at a media conference with Police Chief Sean Whent and Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Antwan Wilson.

The program is available only for Oakland college-bound high school seniors or full time college students between the ages of 17.5 and 21. They must have or be able to obtain a valid California Driver’s License.

The paid, part-time, position starts at just under $14 an hour. The cadets will be encouraged, but not required, to test to become an officer at the end of the three-year program or seek employment with the City of Oakland.

Whent, a former cadet himself, said cadets will be rotated throughout various divisions in the department and they will work around a student’s school schedule.

“By hiring Oakland high school graduates we know that we are recruiting locally and we’re bringing people in that have Oakland roots to be police officers here,” Whent said.

Schaaf said she had previously sat down with 100 Oakland high school students who expressed their idea of wanting such a program to exist. She worked closely with Wilson at OUSD to deliver on the promise.

“We have students who are interested in law enforcement right now,” Wilson said. “That’s why this is so important.”

There are currently 18 cadets in the program, but the city is looking to expand to 25 new positions. Schaaf said the additional spaces in the program are being funded by $450,000 included in the approved budget and an additional $750,000 gifted by an anonymous donor.

For more information on the Cadet Program visit this page online.

Applicants may also call the Cadet Program Coordinator at 510-238-3552.

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