Posted by Watson
I have a son who is entering the fifth grade and he is interested in become a police officer later in life. I thought it would be good for him to get involved with Sac PD by attending a few ride-alongs and volunteer some time here and there. Does Sac PD have a program for young people interested in a future in law enforcement?
I love to hear about kids who are interested in a life of public service. In terms of interested young people, the Sacramento Police Department has Magnet programs at Grant, Kennedy, Hiram Johnson and Sacramento High Schools available to their students. These programs give kids good exposure to the department and what to expect from a law enforcement career. In most cases, ride-alongs are not possible until the young person is 18. After graduation, young people may apply for our Student Trainee program. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and carrying at least 12 college semester units with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in each class.
At the fifth grade level, the best thing I could advise is to keep him active in a broad range of subjects and activities. Let him pursue things and investigate life. One of my male colleagues saw your question and suggested that he might find the Hardy Boys series and the Hardy Boys Detective Handbook interesting. More than one successful officer has read the whole series as a boy.
We need police officers that are broadly educated. So your son should be encouraged to examine many different pursuits, both academic and athletic. In addition to many officers who studied Criminal Justice, we have police officers on the Sacramento Police Department who have completed Masters degrees in Business Administration, Agricultural Economics, Biology, and many other areas of academic interest, such as computers and social work, that would not normally seem to lead a person directly into a career in law enforcement. We also have officers, both male and female, who came to law enforcement after playing sports at the college and professional level, or from the military. When we bring all of those people together as a team, we are able to combat the broad range of crimes that get committed in our jurisdiction much more effectively.
And of course, it isn’t too early for your son or any young person to know that positive activities and friends, and good grades, especially in high school, can help to increase his future chances of being considered for a law enforcement career. All aspects of our applicants and their backgrounds are considered when they apply for jobs at the Police Department, and that’s something a young person can begin to build at any age.