With the cadet program, BRPD hopes to give future officers a head start
BATON ROUGE - With the cadet program, future officers are given a head start, learning about the laws they will soon enforce.
"You get to learn the aspects of each unit, the intricate parts, and as much as you can," Cadet Jalen Marbs said.
Marbs joined the cadet program when it re-launched last year. Marbs says that he has long wanted to become a police officer.
"With my father being in law enforcement, I felt that this was an appropriate step to becoming a police officer," Marbs said. "It's always been a dream of mine to join the police force and make a difference in my community."
Sgt. Belford Johnson played a large role in relaunching BRPD's cadet program, which was inactive for over 25 years. Anyone between 18-21 can join the program. Cadets are allowed to work full time while they shadow officers in each division.
Johnson says the program is an opportunity to bridge the gap between community members and law enforcement.
"I know what kind of climate there is about law enforcement right now. I tell everybody that if they want to be a part of the solution then join," Johnson said. "Sitting back and talking about it and pointing fingers isn't going to make it go away and get better. The more people who get involved that want to do this job for the right reasons the better the whole profession is going to be."
As the country takes a hard look at the current state of law enforcement, Cadet Raychelle Rogers says she is undeterred.
"This is something I've always wanted to do so I wasn't discouraged by what's going on," Rogers said. "Just going to do the right thing and make the right decision."