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Becoming a Police Officer: Scholarships, Grants, and Programs (page 3)

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Updated on Dec 2, 2010

Cadet Programs

Cadet programs range from one with the largest police force in the country to smaller programs in towns, cities, and counties all around the country. For example, the City University of New York (CUNY) and some New York area private colleges participate with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in a program called the NYPD Cadet Corp. Students enrolled at a participating college work part-time for the NYPD, get tuition reimbursement, and, depending on whether they take and pass the entry exam for police officer, may receive some benefits according to when they are called from the civil service list. Similar programs elsewhere offer on the-job training in non-enforcement areas at police departments and in sheriffs' offices. Some accept applicants who are no longer in school, but are recent graduates

Still in High School?

There are also high school programs that provide an early start on the path toward a career in the field. There are many variations to these programs. One example is a shared time program at the Monmouth County Vocational School Law Enforcement Program in New Jersey. This is a two-year program that permits juniors and seniors in high school to earn credits transferable to two local community colleges. The High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice in Houston, TX, which opened in 1981, offered one of the earliest secondary school curricula devoted to law enforcement. Currently, there are a number of public high schools offering specialized courses of studies in law enforcement, corrections, and the courts. These include, but are not limited to, the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet Schools, the Law Enforcement Career Academy at Wheeler High School in Valparaiso, IN; the Sandra Day O'Connor Criminal Justice/ Public Service Academy in El Paso, TX; the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety in Jamaica, Queens, NY; the Law and Justice Program at Centennial High School in Roswell, GA; Southeast Academy Military and Law Enforcement High School in Cerritos, CA, and the Criminal Justice and Public and Private Security Program operated by the Chautauqua-Cattaraugas Board of Cooperative Education services in upstate New York near Buffalo.

An alternative to magnet or special curriculum high schools are Explorer Posts specializing in law enforcement. The Explorers are open to 14-yearolds who have completed eighth grade or those who are between 15 years old and 21 years old. Explorer programs include areas of emphasis that include career opportunities, life skills, citizenship, character education, and leadership experience. The Explorers' law enforcement specialty program has been endorsed by both the International Association of the Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriff's Association. With a post that is chartered by a local law enforcement agency, Explorers obtain first-hand knowledge of the work these agencies do while providing support for some of the agencies' community outreach programs. A member of the sponsoring police agency serves as Post advisor and the paramilitary structure of the post generally reflects that of the advisor's organization. As part of their community service orientation, Law Enforcement Explorers are permitted to go on patrol (ride-alongs) with officers. Explorers may also engage in search and rescue efforts for lost children and missing persons as well as receive training in such police functions as report writing, domestic dispute resolution, crowd control, hostage negotiations, and weapons training.

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