Robbinsdale Police Cadet Program Prepares Officers of the Future
For 19-year-old Andover High School graduate Kyah Hoyt, the best classroom in her education nowadays may just be in the front seat of a Robbinsdale Police Department squad. On just her third day as the newest cadet in the department, Hoyt was learning from a community service officer about how to best handle non-moving traffic violations.
“They teach me skills but the cadet program will help me succeed,” said Hoyt, who is also enrolled at Hennepin Tech to earn a two-year degree in her pursuits to be a full-time law enforcement officer. “I’ll get more time on the street, more time in the community and just getting the feel of what it’s going to be like to become a police officer.”
The Robbinsdale cadet program is similar to the community service officer program in its department, and in many others, in that the employees are not licensed law enforcement officers, meaning they can not arrest anyone and they can not carry a gun.
“They learn the role of the officers, they learn the expectations of the city, they learn the geography, they learn the paperwork flow, all of that,” said Captain John Elder with the Robbinsdale Police Department. “We get to see them in some higher-stress situations.”
The cadets are part-time employees, and the expectation is, they will stay with the department for three years after they earn their state licensure, said Capt. Elder.
“It helps us have a more diverse candidate pool,” said Elder. “Some people that may want to go into this but may not have the socioeconomics (to pay for a college degree). It’s really a way of getting well-rounded candidates as well as people who will fit in well with the community.”
Hoyt grew up in a law enforcement family; her father is Chief Tim Hoyt with the New Hope Police Department.
“Having Thanksgiving at the police department, making food for all of the police officers, just being around that environment, it’s inspired me,” she said. “I recommend (the cadet program) to everyone that’s going into law enforcement or just starting out. Do a CSO job, do a cadet job, it’s going to help you in your future, and it’s just a great opportunity to get you started.”