Simplified: The Sioux Falls Police Department has a new program to help remove barriers for people who want to become police officers. Here's what you need to know about "Career Cadets."

Why it matters

  • It's getting harder to find applicants for open police officer jobs, Police Chief Jon Thum said Thursday at a press conference announcing the new program.
  • Through community partnerships, the Career Cadets program offers help not only with higher education, but also with health and child care for people who qualify.
  • Cadets also receive mentorship from someone within the police department to learn about the various jobs available to them – and, they can also learn about roles in other city departments as well.
"We want to create a path for folks who have a heart for the profession but may have some obstacles to overcome to make it happen," Thum said.

How does the Career Cadet program work?

Cadets have to be accepted into Southeast Technical College and pursuing an associates degree in law enforcement science, according to the job application.

Those who meet those qualifications can then be hired on for a part-time job with the police department paying $17.51 hourly.

Eligible cadets will also receive:

  • A scholarship to cover 12 credit hours at Southeast Tech
  • A laptop from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation
  • Child care assistance from the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition
  • Healthcare assistance from Falls Community Health.
"If you’re passionate about making a difference in your community, we want to support that," Thum said.

Lt. Rob Forster said another goal of the program is to further the tradition of community-based policing in Sioux Falls.

What happens next?

The application for the Career Cadet program is available now on the city's website.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.