They are considered the eyes and ears of the IU Police Department. However, they cannot carry a weapon, make an arrest or get physically involved in altercations. They are equipped with only a patch on their sleeve and a radio to call for help.
The IU Police Department cadet program is a year-long training phase for IU students. It is a way for students to start their careers in law enforcement. A large part of the program is the shifts cadets have working security on campus at football and basketball games, IUPD Capt. Andy Stephenson said.
Sgt. Stephen Luce, the training coordinator for IUPD cadets said he compares the role of a cadet to that of a civilian security position.
Buildings within cadet jurisdiction include Herman B Wells Library, the Student Recreational Sports Center, the School of Public Health, Franklin Hall, Bryan Hall, the Indiana Memorial Union and the lost and found in Ballantine Hall room 031. Assignments change during the course of training as a way to provide these students with a more well-rounded experience.
“We want them to be exposed to as much as possible so when they leave here, they’re well prepared,” Luce said.
Although physical power is limited for cadets, these individuals are still vital to the police department, Luce said. The cadets help to fill in the staff gaps the department has, Luce said.
“We depend on them to make up for where we’re lacking in full-time manpower,” Luce said. “They’re a pivotal, crucial part of what we do.”
After cadets have completed the training program, the next step is the IU Police Academy. Upon acceptance, cadets complete 600 hours of training from May to August and graduate the academy certified in law enforcement for the state. Stephenson said the department is trying to step up its recruiting efforts, but this year’s prospects are looking good.
“For us, our goal is to hire between 40 and 50 cadets every year with the hope of putting approximately 40 through the academy,” Stephenson said.
The cadet program doesn’t require applicants to have a particular major to participate — just a general interest in law enforcement, according to the IUPD website. For students that complete cadet training and decide the academy isn’t for them, there’s no commitment. Once they complete cadet training, they can be finished.
The cadet program brings the department a lot more than just extra hands on deck. The program started on the Bloomington campus and it is something the department wants to continue, Luce said.
“Twenty-nine of our full-time employees were formally a part of the cadet program,” Stephenson said. “Out of 40.”
Both Stephenson and Luce were cadet graduates.
Although some of the details of the program have changed from when they went through, both Stephenson and Luce agreed the basic premise of the program is and will remain the same.
Director of Public Safety Education Capt. Greg Butler has created a tradition in the cadet program other staff members say they value.
“The way Capt. Butler runs the program, that’s not going to change, that’s our standard,” Luce said.
The department is beginning to make preparations for the summer academy, Luce said. State legislation can influence the program, hence their need to update and tweak it each year.
“If you are an undergraduate interested in a career in law enforcement, it would really behoove you to look into the program,” Luce said. “It’ll change your life.”
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