The Fairfield Police Cadet Program is a program that helps inspire, develop and guide young people who have an interest in law enforcement and also want to give back to their community. Our program has been an integral part of Fairfield and the Police Department for over 40 years by enhancing public safety services within the community. Our dedicated cadets are driven by a commitment to public service and a desire to contribute positively to society.
The Fairfield Police Cadets are a part of the NorthEast Regional Law Enforcement Association (NERLEEA) to expose young men and women (ages 13-21) to the vast career choices available in Law Enforcement today. Many of our alumni have continued to successfully achieve positions in local Law Enforcement, State Police Departments, Federal Law Enforcement agencies, as well as many other positions in public service throughout the country. You can see a complete list of Fairfield Police Cadet Program Alumni here.
Cadets learn in both the classroom and field environment, including actual "hands-on" field experience. Weekly meeting presentations including training on police duties, Forensic Science, Self Defense, k9 Demonstrations, Communication, Courtroom procedure, Investigation, Report Writing, Ethics, Firearm Safety, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Crisis Negotiation, Governmental Law, Emergency Management, Interview/Oral Board, Resume/Cover Letter writing, Building Searches, and much more.
Community Service Hours
All events and meetings are considered community service hours, which can be counted toward high school transcripts. Many high schools have community service hour requirements. By attending weekly meetings, community events and competitions, Cadets usually exceed any requirements. This is a benefit not only to the Fairfield Community, but also for an cadet's resume for college, trade school, or future career. Many of our cadets have received college scholarships due to their high level of community service involvement.
Cadets meet weekly at the Fairfield Police Department, where they spend an hour and a half learning about various law enforcement topics. This could consist of an interactive lecture, demonstration, or live scenarios that the Cadets participate in. Cadets in leadership positions will be given an opportunities to teach lessons that they have advanced knowledge in.
Cadets learn water rescue techniques at the YMCA during a meeting
Cadets take notes during a lecture
U.S. Marshals visited the police department and provided instruction at a meeting
There is a wide range of topics covered at meetings, and the below list is not all inclusive. Throughout the year we will also get guest speakers that provide specialized instruction, such as the U.S. Marshals, the assistant district attorney, the FBI, and many more. If a cadet is interested in a particular field of law enforcement, we will use our wide range of contacts to try to facilitate an expert in that field to speak at a meeting.
History of Law Enforcement
Drill and Ceremony
Laws of Arrest
Interview and Interrogation
Motor Vehicle Accident Investigations
Crime Scene Investigation
Cadets 16 and over who have passed their probation phase are allowed to ride with patrol officers during one of their shifts. Cadets will sit in the front passenger seat of the patrol vehicle and observe as officers respond to calls for service and participate in the normal routines of community policing.
Cadets will be taught proper radio operating procedures and assist in writing police reports. Due to their training, cadets may also assist officers in a variety of situations such as directing traffic at accident scenes and routine investigations.
If an officer must respond to a "hot call" or a call for service where it is know that there are firearms, the cadet riders are not allowed to be present. If this happens, or an officer gets involved in a vehicle pursuit, the cadet will be dropped off at a safe location away from the call prier to the officer's response. Cadets may not get out of the patrol vehicle during traffic stops.
Cadets will be called upon to help with Fairfield Town Events, and the events of surrounding municipalities. Mandatory community events include the Fairfield Independence Day Fireworks, Fairfield Memorial Day Parade, Fairfield McKinney Carnival, and the Fairfield Police Cadets Shred Day. Our program also assists in the Easton Carnival, Berlin Fair, Vicki Soto 5k, Sunset Run, Fairfield Half Marathon, Fairfield Turkey Trot, St. Emery Oktoberfest, the Wakeman Boys and Girls Career Fair, and many more.
The Fairfield Cadets is one of many cadet programs throughout the northeast. The Northeast Regional Law Enforcement Education Association hosts various competitions throughout the year and a week-long Cadet Police Academy in the summer. These competition (NERLEEA) include Stations Day and the Tactical Challenge. These competitions are opportunities to showcase the skills our cadets learn throughout the year and the Fairfield Police Cadets are traditionally very successful. To learn more details about the events you can visit NERLEEA.com.
Cadets prepare to compete in the Northeast Stations Day Competition
Fairfield Police Cadets won 1st Place in the 2023 Stations Day Competition
Cadets compete in the Tactical Challenge during the "Hostage Extraction" scenario
Stations Day, is a day long competition held at the Connecticut Police Academy where cadets from all over the northeast compete against each other. Cadets will act as officers in realistic scenarios, based on the "typical" calls for service police deal with on a day to day basis. These scenarios include motor vehicle stops, suspicious person response, robbery response, building search, domestic violence, crisis intervention, DUI investigation, and search and control. The cadets are graded on their performance, and typically the Fairfield Police Cadet Program has a tradition of winning. Though we enjoy the competitive aspect of this event, any cadet that wants to participate is allowed to go so they can use it as a learning experience and to network with cadets from around the northeast.
Tactical Challenge, is another scenario based competition held at the Berlin Fairgrounds. This competition is similar to Stations Day, except the scenarios are much more complex and involve larger teams. The scenarios that the cadets participate in include, active aggressor, officer down, high risk arrest warrant, felony stop, hostage extraction, narcotics search warrant, and tactical casualty combat care. This event is much more competitive, and the amount of teams that can participate is limited. Because of this, the Fairfield Police Cadets have try-outs and a team is selected based on skills.
We know that there is value in traveling outside our community to learn how other jurisdictions, police departments, state and federal agencies practice law enforcement. We also understand the benefit of experiencing another culture within the United States. As such, our program has been making an increased effort to have educational field trips outside of Connecticut to accomplish these goals. Recently we visited our counterparts at the 1st Precinct Explorer Post in New York City, and this summer we will be participating in a competition hosted by the Las Vegas Police Explorer Post in Nevada.
Cadets get a tour of the NYPD 1st Precinct Police Station
Cadets visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum
Cadets pay tribute to the victims of 9/11
Interested in becoming a Police Cadet?
Attend any 3 meetings at the Fairfield Police Department. If you want to join the program, you will be provided with an application and provided with a uniform if you meet the minimum requirements.
Must be between the ages of 13 and 20.
Must be in good academic standing with your school, maintaining at least a "C" average.
Must be free of any criminal record.
Questions and Answers
When Are Meetings? The Fairfield Police Cadets meet every Monday night at 7:00pm to about 8:30pm at the Fairfield Police Department, 100 Reef Road CT. Meetings consist of uniform inspections, training, discussions, and planning the many projects and events on the Cadets busy activities calendar. Sometimes meetings run late to put items away or to debrief the training. Ranking cadets are expected to ensure equipment and meeting reports are completed before leaving. Meetings are not conducted if Fairfield Public Schools are closed for weather. Please check the calendar section for up-to-date meeting and event information.
Can Girls Join? Absolutely! Young women have always been a part of the Fairfield Police Cadet Program and share equal responsibilities in the program. Three of the Fairfield Police Advisors are female police officers as well.
Who are the Advisors? The advisors are police officers, civilian volunteers, and employees of the Fairfield Police Department. Advisor Training is provided by the North East Regional Law Enforcement Education Association. You can find out more about Fairfield's Advisors here.
Is it all Work? The social aspect of the Cadet program is as important to us as the professional services we provide. Cadets may participate in a wide variety of trips and activities through out the year including ski trips, camping trips, and many other social events.
Additionally, at the yearly Police Cadet Academy and NERLEEA sponsored competitions, cadets are ensured opportunities to meet and build friendships with members of other posts throughout the tri-state area.
What are the leadership positions? The Fairfield Cadet Post is a youth-run program, which means the day to day supervision is conducted by the cadets themselves. The rank structure of the program is outlined here. When there is an opening, or if the advisors see a need for a change in the rank structure, eligible cadets will go through a rigorous promotional process that mimics the hiring process for law enforcement. Cadets will be provided classes on resume and cover letter writing, interview etiquette, and more.
What Does it Cost? There is a $100 rental fee for Cadet uniforms. Cadets are also expected to purchase navy blue BDU-style pants and publishable black boots.
For additional events, competitions, and summer camp fees, our many sponsors take care of most costs associated with being a member of Post 279. This includes, most additional uniform costs and travel expenses for state and national conferences and events. Some Cadets opt to purchase additional equipment such as flashlights and other gear.
Is this Program About Recruiting Police Officers? Not at all! Many members go on to rewarding careers in Law Enforcement. However, many alumni pursue other career interests. Police Cadets are given a real-life, behind-the-scenes, look at Law Enforcement so that they may make an informed decision later on in life.
Investigations/Emergency Disasters - As highly trained civilians, Cadets may be called upon to assist in evidence recover investigations or the policing of emergency disaster scenes. Cadets will only be utilized if the situation is safe.