Ten cadets were integrated with 32 trooper candidates going through the first week of training at Maryland’s state academy, reports the Baltimore Sun. The class began Monday; it’s the first time the two groups have been mixed. “We’re hoping that the time they spend as cadets here will expose them to what police work is like,” said Capt. Carl Lee, commander of the state police education and training section. “This is about rewiring them.”
The cadets are 18- and 19-year-old high school graduates, who help with duties like traffic control. They won’t be eligible to enter the academy until they’re 20. In the past, cadets have had short academy training, but only with other cadets. Now, they spend seven days there during the 26-week training period as a way of gauging their commitment to the state police.
Lt. Dean Richardson, a 32-year state police veteran who is supervising the cadets, said the reason for mixing them with trooper candidates was to improve cadet performance. He said that some cadets have not been mentally and physically prepared for the academy. The cadets start nearly 12-hour days at 5:45 a.m. with calisthenics, pull-ups, and other training. Classes in uniform regulations, geography, fitness, and defense tactics come next. Then military formation drills.
“It’s a real good wake up call for them before they get going on their cadet career, to know what to expect when they enter the police academy,” said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman. “There will be instructors yelling at you. But when they’re on the street, people are going to yell at them every day. We have to know that they can take it, that they’ll react properly and keep their wits about them and act professionally.”