The benefits of being a police cadet lay the foundation for a long and varied vocation if you are considering a career in law enforcement. The police cadet is a 20-hour/week entry-level police civilian classification that performs all duties required to support police services. The cadet must be proactive as they maintain the police vehicles, assist in evidence and property, run court documents, ensure proper calibration of technical equipment, do vacation home checks, and assist at DUI checkpoints, Farmer’s Market, National Night Out and other city events. The hours vary from days, nights to weekends depending on need/event. The San Rafael Police Department (SRPD) is one of the few agencies that encourage and promote advancement of their cadets to the police academy where, upon graduation, they return to the SRPD as a police officer.
SRPD has several officers that graduated from cadet to the academy to sworn officer. Eighteen years ago, Sergeant Scott Eberle was a student at Sonoma State studying criminal justice when he started as a cadet in San Rafael. He really enjoyed his time as a cadet with one of the highlights being the McGruff Crime Dog mascot – he would arrive at the Marin County Fair and other city events in costume to everyone’s delight! Sergeant Eberle said being a cadet was excellent preparation towards being an officer, “A cadet has the advantage of learning the inter-workings of the department, developing relationships and getting to know people and their personalities.”
As an SRPD cadet, Sergeant Eberle administered the alarm permit program, assisted police services aide, filed reports, charged batteries, helped Investigations with logistical work, ordered police equipment and other duties as required. As a Marin native, Sergeant Eberle chose SRPD because he wanted to give back to the community, and SRPD offered many opportunities for different specialties.
Sergeant Eberle’s advice to future and present cadets is, “Try to get involved as much as you can, have an open mind to learning new things, and finish your education.” Although a high school diploma is required to apply as a cadet with the San Rafael Police Department, preference is given to those college students preparing for a career in law enforcement.
For more information, please contact the San Rafael Police Department’s non-emergency line at (415) 485-3000.