By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The Downriver Cadet Program, led by the Wyandotte Police Department, offers high school and college students, ages 14 to 21, a chance to learn about law enforcement and serve Downriver comunities.
Capt. Kevin Koberg, 19, of Wyandotte, said he became a police cadet because he was interested in law enforcement when he was younger.
“It opened up my eyes a lot,” Koberg said. “We did first aid, basic law enforcement stuff. The training makes it appealing to me.”
Cpl. Skyleigh Chavez, 15, of Wyandotte, said she has had a lot of relatives in law enforcement who were role models in her life.
She said it surprised her how much flack officers catch from people despite how hard they work to protect people.
“I have learned that you really have to be on your game,” she said.
She said her peers were at first surprised by her choice to become a police cadet, but they have since remarked upon how the experience has positively impacted her life. She said she sees law enforcement as a possible career.
Capt. Elizabeth Olson, 18, of Wyandotte, said she joined to further her knowledge of law enforcement and to make sure that it was what she wanted to go into.
“I guess, like, I really didn’t believe what officers go through until I started doing ride-alongs,” she said. “I’ve seen suicides, and when you have to go to the hospital to babysit, and just regular traffic stops. Police officers really do have to go from one case to the next, to completely clear their mind of what just happened, and to move on throughout their shift.”
Maj. Aaron Worley, 20, of Wyandotte, said they had paramedics show them how to use Narcan, which revives people overdosing on opioids.
“Right now Downriver, one of the biggest issues we have is heroin overdoses,” he said. “So that’s part of my medical training.”
Worley said he also learns about guns and gun safety.
“This program is a great program to get people going, becoming young adults,” Worley said. “It can change someone’s life.”
Cadets learn from local, state, county and federal law enforcement agencies, learning ethics, basic patrol skills, arrest techniques, firearms, forensics, traffic investigation, self-defense, physical fitness and raid entry.
Applicants must be at least 14 and a high school freshman, and no older than 21 and in college, with a 2.5 GPA.
Applications are available at the Wyandotte Police Department, 2015 Biddle. Contact Police Officer Steven Sabo at 734-324-4434, or send an email to [email protected].
The program was revitalized by Police Detective Scott Galeski in 2008, and experienced strong growth in recent years, with Sabo becoming program coordinator last December when Galeski retired.
Sabo said he is proud to be a part of the program.
“I am extremely honored to be involved with these bright young minds that will carry on current and future policing concepts if they choose a career in law enforcement,” he said. “Other cadets involved in the program have different career aspirations, and have often commented that the leadership, discipline and team structure has helped them excel in their daily lives and careers.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)