Cadet Program Provides Law Enforcement Experience

The Washburn University Police Department Cadet Program is an opportunity for Washburn students to have a law enforcement experience while attending college. The Cadet Program is an extracurricular law-enforcement-based student organization that has existed for two years.

The cadets coordinate with the Washburn University Police Department to prevent crime and provide service through education, enforcement and community service on Washburn University campus.

According to cadet sergeant Katie Hensler, the cadets go through training sessions every Wednesday night over a variety careers within law enforcement as well as training that would apply to all aspects of law enforcement.

“The trainings depend on which students are involved in the program and different speakers are invited from areas the students like.” says Hensler.

The cadets will be trained to help them assist law enforcement officers. The trainings include handcuffing, car stop procedures, radio procedures and defense tactics. The program provides cadets the opportunity to apply for rank promotion. The cadets also participate in any training that is sponsored by the Washburn University Police Department.

There are 11 cadets in the Washburn University Police Department. They partner with the officers and assist them with law enforcement activities during their shifts. The cadets are certified in the use of an expandable baton and oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray. Once certified, the cadets will carry this equipment while on duty.

The cadets patrol campus on foot and on bicycles or ride along in the Washburn University Police Department vehicles. They are responsible for traffic control and controlling access during sports events.

The cadets do security work at campus events, such as football games, basketball games and graduation. They also take over events for fundraising and send out information about the Cadet Program. The cadets are getting ready to participate in the trunk or treat event in LLC at Washburn. During these events, the cadets’ job is to monitor parking lots, make sure that everything goes on safely and patrol around the event in case anyone needs help.

The cadets also do off-campus events. They are getting ready to be a part of the trunk or treat with kids in Topeka. The cadets take part in many community services and do volunteer works in the Topeka community.

The Special Olympics Kansas event is one of the off-campus events of the Cadet Program. Special Olympics Kansas is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports competitions that offers year-round initiatives to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It’s a platform for acceptance and inclusion as well as one of the largest advocates for healthy lifestyles in Kansas.

Through these events, the Cadet Program provides Washburn students law enforcement experience and helps prepare students for law enforcement careers. It’s an opportunity for students to acquire valuable life skills, especially for students with an interest in a law enforcement career.

The previous experience in the younger program drove Hensler to be a member of the Cadet Program in Washburn University.

“I met some of the best people that I’ve ever met, and I realized that I want to be more like them. The younger program made me realize that why I want to go into the law enforcement field, and I want to continue that with the Cadet Program at Washburn,” said Hensler.

Hensler puts in many efforts for the Cadet Program. This is the second year that she’s been in the Cadet Program.

“I completed 200 hours of community services last year,” said Hensler. “I plan to go more than that, and my goal is 250 hours this year.”

The requirement is 16 hours a month for each cadet. As a sergeant, Hensler put a few hours more than that.

Hensler has developed her leadership skills in the Cadet Program. She’s supposed to think about how to accomplish each task in the events. Responsibility is also required in this process.

Teamwork is another necessary quality of a cadet. The job relies on teamwork hugely, which means that the cadets do the work together successfully. In law enforcement, people don’t get to choose who is on their team or who is responding to a call with them, so future officers should get adapted to different kinds of jobs and teammates. It teaches people how to work with various people as a team.

Moreover, communication plays an important role in law enforcement. It’s the skill to communicate with anyone, from teammates to someone unknown. The conversation should be polite and useful.

“When we are monitoring the parking lots, we should talk to different people that we don’t know. In a football game or basketball game, we will be in a parking lot for eight hours,” said Hensler.

The qualities of leadership, responsibility, teamwork and communication skills work together to create a great cadet. A cadet can develop these skills in the Cadet Program. These qualities and skills have a role in the law enforcement field and also other aspects of people’s life, even if they are not stepping in to the law enforcement area.

The Cadet Program is recruiting new members. Anyone who has a passion for criminal justice and share the program’s positive morals and values, is welcome to apply. The Application forms for the program are located in the Police Department and can be returned there. Full applications also require a number of references such as a background check, an interview with a broad of representatives and a 2.5 cumulative GPA. A cadet is required to work 16 hours per month and a sergeant would need to put more hours on top of that.

For any questions or to get an application for the Cadet Program, contact University Police Sergeant Danielle Wolf by email, [email protected].

More information can be found on the page of Cadet Program.