By Tashi McQueen, AFRO Political Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser expanded the resources of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Cadet Corp program by opening a new training center.
“Our investments in the MPD Cadet Corps program are investments in our young people and the future of public safety in D.C.,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement from her office. “The cadet corps program ensures that D.C. natives are policing in D.C. and creating a pipeline to the middle class. That is why we invested in expanding the program and creating this training center.”
The Mayor permitted an increase to 150 cadets from its current count of 99, according to Chief Robert J. Contee, III of the MPD.
Deidre Magee, director of the MPD Cadet Corps program, further explained the reasoning for the center and what it includes.
“The training center provides the cadet corps with a home base within the historic Anacostia Neighborhood,” said Magee to the AFRO. “The facility provides classroom space, virtual learning accessibility, and proximity to the Congress Heights Campus of the University of D.C. Community College (UDC).”
Magee continued, “The cadet corps program’s primary task is to develop a pipeline of well-trained, highly motivated and community-focused employees that reflect the D.C. culture and are invested in the community.”
It offers young D.C. residents between the ages of 17 and 24 the opportunity to serve part-time as civilian employees while earning college credit at UDC.
“When I realized my aspirations of being a football player were not feasible,” said Taron Alston, a D.C.-born and raised MPD cadet at the opening of the new training center. “I immediately wanted to join the cadet corp because there is no better place to be a part of the solution. I will help bring love, peace and protection back to the city.”
Benefits include a starting salary of $35,637, 60 tuition-free credits toward a degree at UDC and an opportunity to serve and support their communities.
After completing up to 60 college credits and acceptance into the Recruit Officer Training Program phase, cadets will be converted into fully sworn officers.
According to the police program, all cadets are D.C. residents and 51 percent are women.
The training center is located in Ward 8.
“We are still hiring,” said Contee at the press event. “Take the first step to one of the greatest career decisions you could ever make.”
To learn more about the program, go to joinMPD.dc.gov.
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