Are they the police? Are they the Downtown Biz? Nope, they are the Auxiliary Cadets – an arm of the Winnipeg Police Services (WPS) and they are creating a buzz in our city that is drawing attention from other cities across Canada interested in emulating Winnipeg’s program.
The cadets, generally young adults who aspire to become constables with the WPS, are willing to take on this challenging and modest paying job to obtain policing experience that will greatly enhance their resumes. This brilliant program, the brainchild of past Chief of Police Keith McCaskill, allows the WPS to see if the cadet would be a good fit for the department and allows the recruit the equally important opportunity to see if a policing work is really something they want as a career.
After a thorough and highly competitive recruitment process, rigorous training at the Police Academy and supervised field training, the cadets are ready to take to the streets of Winnipeg to help create a strong presence and build positive relationships in the community.
Though they work throughout the City, they spend much of their time in the core area. You may catch a glimpse of them in their black and bright blue uniforms directing traffic when the lights are down or notice their police-like cars or van driving by emblazoned with CADETS on the sides.
These peace officers are keeping us safer and saving all of us tax money. How? By freeing the constables up to focus on core police duties rather than being tied up with the non-urgent and sometimes trivial issues that they must deal with.
The Auxiliary Cadets are trained to conduct neighborhood foot patrol, guard crime scenes, direct traffic, assist in ground searches, receive minor property and motor vehicle reports, enforce provincial statutes and municipal by-laws and refer citizens to assisting agencies. They are on duty until 1:00 a.m.
So the next time you pass by one of these young men or women who are giving their best to our city in the hopes of becoming one of Winnipeg’s finest, give them a wave, a nod or even a ‘thanks for keeping us safe.’