What is the SFPAL Law Enforcement Cadet Program?
The SFPAL Law Enforcement Cadet Program is a collaborative effort of SFPAL and the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Since 1959 the PAL Cadet Program has provided opportunities for growth, leadership, and career experiences for thousands of San Francisco youth — including many who have chosen to pursue law enforcement or public service careers.
What is the schedule?
Applicants to the SFPAL Summer Cadet Academy must participate in the program for at least one full year. Cadets can continue in the program for as long as they wish or until they turn 21 years old.
- 4-week Summer Cadet Academy: June 10 through July 3, 2024
- Year-round internship program: at SFPD stations or bureaus (approximately 6-8 hours per month). Graduates of the 4-week Summer Cadet Academy will complete an internship at an SFPD District Station and/or SFPD Bureau. Through these internships, PAL Cadets will have the opportunity to gain job and career skills in a structured environment supervised by police officers, assist at SFPD district station community events, and help with SFPD station activities as requested. Participants can continue their service after the year commitment, as long as they are in good standing and eligible.
- Ongoing training and community service: Approximately three Thursdays each month, Cadets meet at the Police Academy for additional training and learning opportunities. Additionally, Cadets can volunteer to work alongside SFPD at community events and ceremonies during the week and on the weekends.
What will I get out of the program?
SFPAL Cadets receive training modeled after the basic training academy for new police recruits. Cadets will be taught by SFPD Police Academy training staff. The program is designed to provide hands-on job skills training and leadership development through proper preparation and training. Cadets will:
- Engage in program activities based on the five areas of Learning for Life/Explorer program including:
- Career opportunities and job skills development;
- Life skills;
- Civic responsibility;
- Character education;
- Leadership experience.
- Experience positive leadership from adult and youth leaders and have the opportunity to take on leadership roles.
- Have a chance to learn and grow in a fun, supportive, and caring environment.
- Gain practical experience and knowledge about careers in law enforcement and public service.
In addition to classroom training, Cadets will be required to perform significant physical training as part of the Summer Academy and subsequent training. Cadets should be in good physical condition and are expected to have prepared and trained to get in shape before the Summer Academy.
Do I Qualify (Eligibility)?
- Age 14-20
- Able to participate in the program from June to the following May
- Must complete a San Francisco Police Department background check (criminal history and driving record, if applicable)
- Be currently enrolled as a student in a high school or college program
- Have and maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher
How Are Cadets Selected?
- Meet all eligibility requirements above
- Must commit to participate in the SFPAL Cadet program for at least one full year. Cadets can stay enrolled and advance in the program for as many years as they wish or as long as they remain eligible
- Commitment to program goals and requirements
- Personal statement and recommendations