Since 1984, young women and men, ages 13 to 20, have partnered with the USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn first-hand about law enforcement and emergency services. Cadets first attend an in-depth training academy where they’re immersed in classes on criminal law, community relations, self-defense and firearms safety among other topics. Once they’ve successfully completed their studies, recruits apply what they’ve learned to real tasks, performing a variety of community-based, non-hazardous assignments on USC’s campus and throughout Southern California in association with the Los Angeles Police Department.
About the Program
Serving as a cadet provides you the opportunity to learn about crime prevention, work side-by-side with local activists and law enforcement, and serve your community. Cadets perform their duties under the supervision of full-time DPS officers who serve as Post Advisors. Cadets will:
- complete specialized training and physical fitness training
- attend crime prevention programs
- assist with traffic and crowd control, including USC football games and special events
- attend weekly study hall at USC’s tutoring center
- complete community service projects
- shadow DPS patrol on scheduled ride-alongs
- attend regularly scheduled field trips and cadet social events
How to Apply
To apply, candidates must meet the following criteria. Cadet recruits should:
- be between the ages of 13 and 20 years
- have at least a C average in school
- if under 18, have parental consent to apply
- have no record of serious arrests or convictions
- be in good physical condition
- obtain a medical examination (to qualify for insurance)
- Click here to apply now
In addition to the physical and technical requirements listed above, cadet candidates should also:
- have good moral character and desire to serve the community
- demonstrate a willingness to participate in Cadet activities
- If you meet the criteria outlined above, please send an email including your first and last name to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know you are interested in the program.
- After receiving your email, a DPS staff member will contact you to confirm your eligibility and schedule an oral interview.
- Following oral interviews, DPS will invite qualified candidates to attend its Cadet Academy.
Recruits must attend and graduate from our Cadet Academy before beginning fieldwork. Academy training:
- includes approximately 96 hours of academics, physical conditioning and experiential classes at the Los Angeles Police Cadet Academy in Westchester
- extends over 15 consecutive Saturdays
- consists of classes on criminal law, community relations, firearms safety, alcohol/drug awareness, police procedures, drill and ceremonies, physical fitness and character development