Police cadets walk stage on graduation day; will join Lethbridge, Taber and Blood Tribe forces
Seven police cadets have been hard at work training at Lethbridge College over the past 22 weeks.
Now, that hard work has paid off as the cadets have been presented with their certificates and badges.
"They obviously go through everything, kind of on a surface level, that they need to know when they get to the street with a field training officer. A lot of that is taught through the college and by the college instructors," said the Lethbridge Police Service's Const. Jonathan Brunning, cadet facilitator.
"And then, we have some of our subject-matter experts that come in through the police stations."
Three of the cadets will go with the LPS, two will work for the Taber Police Service and two will join the ranks of the Blood Tribe Police Service.
The cadets are eager to start their hands-on learning and serve their communities.
"It's exciting. It's a relief. Kind of bittersweet to be done and see some of my co-cadets go off to other agencies but I'm excited to start a new career," said Alison McCulloch, who will join the LPS and was named top cadet of the class.
The cadets are badly needed as police agencies across Canada have been suffering staffing shortages.
The LPS alone is currently looking to fill about 25 positions.
"We are definitely not unique. Every police service in Canada right now is struggling for officers," said Staff Sgt. Christy Woods of LPS support services.
The LPS says it's working on addressing its staffing shortage.
One way will be by increasing the amount of spots for new cadets each year.
"We are looking for people and we are looking for more people. In fact, we have started organizing two cadet classes a year that are going to be going on for the next three years," said the LPS's Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh.
Training for the cadets isn't over just yet.
In Lethbridge, they'll do three weeks of in-house training followed by another 18 weeks of field training before they hit the streets.