Do I have to pay any money to become a Cadet?
The Cadet Program is absolutely FREE.

What is the Cadet Academy?
The Cadet Academy is an exciting 18-week training course for new Cadets that takes place every Saturday. During the Academy, each recruit is issued a Cadet uniform, and all Cadets who complete the training participate in a graduation ceremony held at the USC Galen Center.

What will I learn in the Academy?
During Academy training, recruits are challenged both physically and academically. Each week, recruits participate in physical training that includes running, calisthenics, and obstacle courses. Cadets are given character education based on the Josephson Institute for Ethics curriculum Character Counts. The recruits are given classes in criminal law, public speaking, conflict resolution, and view demonstrations by SWAT, Bomb Squad, and Counter Terrorism experts.

What happens after the Academy?
Once Cadets graduate from the Academy and successfully complete their probationary period, they are recommended for promotion to Cadet II.

How do I apply to the Cadet Academy?
Before you can go to the Cadet Academy, you need to apply to join the Cadet Program. Once we receive your interest information, one of the officers affiliated with the program will contact you, answer any questions you may have and tell you everything you need to know.

What is a Cadet Recruit?
A Cadet Recruit is a Cadet that has applied and been accepted into the program but has not yet graduated from the Cadet Academy.

What is a Division?
A Division is a police station.  The LAPD has 21 Divisions that span from the Harbor in the South, all the way to the Valley in the North.  Divisions are also sometimes referred to as “Areas” and provide a full-spectrum of law enforcement and community-based services to the 4.3 million Los Angeles residents. See our “division” page for more info.

What is an Area?
See Division

What is a Cadet Post?
Each LAPD Cadet is assigned to a Division where they meet.  These divisions are called Cadet Posts.  There are 24 Posts throughout the city – with one at each of the 21 Divisions, two specialized Posts at Communications Division and Metropolitan Division, and a regional post within the Harbor Gateway community.  Cadets are assigned to a Post depending on where they live, with most members being assigned to the Post that is the closest to their home.

What is a YSO?
YSO is LAPD speak for “Youth Services Officer.”  There are several YSOs assigned to the Community Relations Office in every Division. YSOs are responsible for coordinating all Cadet activities at their individual Posts.

Can Cadets promote to higher ranks?
Absolutely…! Cadets can promote after a qualifying period of time in the program and successful completion of a promotional testing process.  Cadet ranks include Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Commander.  There is one Cadet Chief who is the highest ranking member of the Cadets. 

What are the requirements to become a Cadet?
There are certain eligibility requirements for becoming a Cadet. Some of these include:

  • 13 to 20 years old
  • Have a passing grade point average
  • Have no record of serious arrest or criminal convictions
  • Be willing and able to serve and participate in Cadet activities. 

Do I have to be a United States citizen to be a Cadet?
No. Citizenship is not a requirement to participate in any of our programs.  All youth who meet the program requirements are welcome to join. 

Does the Los Angeles Police Cadet Program only accept youth who want to be police officers?
Even though a lot of the classes teach Cadets about skills related to being a police officer, the Cadet Program is designed to provide the building blocks to becoming a better student and adult, regardless of their career ambition.  All you have to do to qualify is meet the minimum requirements – and make the commitment. 

How often do Cadets meet?
Cadets have Post meetings at least once a week.

What do kinds of activities do Cadets do?
The activities in which Cadets participate will vary depending on which Post to which they are assigned; but all Posts will combine a variety of opportunities to volunteer within the community with the chance to go on outings that are purely for fun.  Some activities that Cadet Posts participated in/volunteered to work at last year include:

  • March of Dimes
  • Division Picnics/Holiday Parties
  • National Night Out
  • SWAT Fitness Challenge
  • The Academy Awards
  • Hollywood Christmas Parade
  • LA Marathon
  • Dodgers Nights

Los Angeles Police Department – Community Youth Program