The St. Petersburg Police Department and St. Petersburg College of Public Safety Administration have joined with Lakewood High School to form a new Student Police Cadet Program.
The Student Police Cadet program is a pilot dual-enrollment program that will enable junior and senior level Lakewood High students to take criminal justice-related courses at SPC’s Allstate Center during the afternoon, giving them an early college classroom experience. In addition to taking classes at Allstate, students will receive additional Florida Department of Law Enforcement summer training. This training will qualify the students for civilian part-time employment with the St. Petersburg Police Department working in traffic enforcement and accident investigations.
Brian Frank, dean of SPC’s College of Public Safety Administration, has been instrumental in the development of the program.
“There are many benefits with this program that will not only offer education and employment for the student cadets. This new student cadet program will begin to foster a positive relationship with law enforcement and the St. Petersburg community. We will begin to establish a pipeline of pre-screened, qualified African-American law enforcement candidates with one year of work experience and college credits,” Frank said.
Benefits of the Student Police Cadet Program include:
- After two years in the Lakewood program, students will earn 12 of the 30 required college credits to enter SPC’s Law Enforcement Academy
- If the student is accepted into SPC’s Law Enforcement Academy, the St. Petersburg Police Department will cover the cost of academy tuition, uniforms and related expenses
- The St. Petersburg Police Department will also pay each cadet $18.65 per hour during their time in the academy
- The student cadet can continue to work as a civilian part-time employee with the St. Petersburg Police Department
- Students gain valuable work skills, experience and specialized law enforcement training
- Upon successful graduation from SPC’s Law Enforcement Academy, sworn officers receive an entry level salary of $45,381 annually with the St. Petersburg Police Department
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