The Cadet Program is another opportunity for persons interested in a career with SBPD. The Cadet program is designed to inspire future law enforcement leaders by offering hands-on training and career opportunities at the same time.

What is the Police Cadet Program?

The SBPD Cadet Program is a part-time employment position. It is designed to help young adults acquire a broad overview of law enforcement in areas such as crime scene processing, forensics, homeland security, community policing, crime analysis, crime prevention, investigations, patrol, and records collection and storage.

The program offers uniformed part-time employment at the South Bend Police Department on a rotational assignment basis and paid tuition (up to $2000 per semester) in the form of a loan. Upon graduation and successful completion of the SBPD Officer testing and hiring process, the loan would be written off by the City.

What do Cadets do?

Once accepted into the program, Cadets are assigned to training duties. Police Cadets work many details and assignments in uniform, and are involved in the following areas of rotational training within the department:

  • Patrol Division
  • Records
  • Property & Evidence Collection/Storage
  • Front Desk
  • Investigative Bureau
  • Crime Lab/CSI Assistance

Training Opportunities

Police Cadets gain valuable experience while training for a career in law enforcement. Although Police Cadets have no sworn police powers, they receive training including the following:

  • Community policing philosophy
  • Ethics and decision-making
  • Cultural awareness
  • Patrol techniques
  • Crime scene control
  • Defensive tactics
  • Firearms safety
  • Report writing/report taking
  • Evidence handling/processing
  • CPR/First Aid


Those interested in the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Age 18-23 at time of application
  • Senior in high school OR graduated and enrolled in college
  • Be of good moral character and complete successful background investigation
  • Complete an oral interview with members of the Training Division
  • Have no arrests or convictions which would prohibit employment as a police officer
  • Be a U.S. citizen 

Upon completion of a four-year college degree, a police cadet will be hired (as positions and openings are available) as a Police Officer if:

  • They maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • They receive a favorable recommendation from the Cadet Board 
  • They complete all phases of the recruitment, testing, and hiring process

The Cadet will then be hired as a probationary Officer and retained as a SBPD Police Officer pending ILEA graduation and successful completion of our Field Training Officer (FTO) program.

Ready to Apply?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You can download a Cadet Program Application HERE.


Program Contact:

Training Division

(574) 235-9224