If you are seeking to become a Denver Police Officer, Firefighter, or Deputy Sheriff...the Cadet Program may have an opportunity for you.  The mission of the Cadet Program is to serve the community by developing educated, well-trained and diverse candidates for public safety employment.  

2013 Cadet Annual Report

Cadet's work 25-35 hours per week in the Denver Police, Fire, and Sheriff Department's while attending college full-time.  Cadet applicants desire a future career as Denver Police Officer's, Denver Firefighter's, or Denver Deputy Sheriff's.


HS Diploma or GED 

Valid CO Driver's License at application

US Citizen

CO Residency

Ability to qualify for in-state tuition rate

No felony convictions

Ability to meet strict background standards (criminal history, drug use, driving record)

Ability to be admitted as a student to UCD or Metro St.

No more than 60 college credit hours completed at time of application

Next application period fall 2014.  Cadet applicants are subject to an extensive screening and evaluation process. Applicants are reminded that applications are subject to screening, evaluation, and verification.  

The merit based process to become a cadet includes:

  • Application 
  • Application review
  • Scored application evaluation process
  • Comprehensive background investigation 
  • Polygraph exam 
  • Interview
  • Conditional job offer to Cadet Academy
  • Drug testing and medical evaluation


The Denver Public Safety Cadet Program is a specialized training and education program designed to help strengthen the future workforce of the Denver Police, Fire, and Sheriff departments.  Selected applicants are typically recent high school graduates or those with less than two years of completed college credit. 

The Cadet Program is authorized under city charter as a function of the Manager of Safety. The Cadet Program may refer up to 25% of successful cadet program graduates to the police or fire academy new hire class. Internally, cadets may be classified as Commander, Sr. Cadet Leader, Cadet Leader, or Cadet.  Opportunities also exist to lead special training or functional groups within the program to help build additional leadership and decision making skills. 

Special assignment requests are facilitated by Cadet Program Department Coordinators within each department.  The Cadet Program Director oversees the administrative, policy, and procedural duties of the program under the Office of the Manager of Safety.

2013 Cadet Supervisor Training

Once applicants have been hired and become Safety Cadets there are a few academic requirements that all Cadets must adhere to while in the program.

  • Cadets must take courses during the fall and spring semesters
  • Cadets must take a minimum number of credit hours each semester
  • Cadets can declare any major
  • Cadets must take courses that work toward completion of their degree

Achievement Recognition
Cadets receive special recognition for obtaining GPA's above 3.5 during any academic semester.  Cadets may choose the major of their choice and may often elect other classes such as the following:

  • First Responder/Emergency Rescue
  • Youth, Drugs, and Gangs
  • American Sign Language
  • Nutrition
  • Ethics 

The emphasis of the Cadet Program is intellectual development for individual Cadets in school. Cadets schedule their work assignment hours around their school courses to ensure that there are no conflicts with scheduling. The Safety Cadet Program offers the opportunity of a obtaining a college degree.  Cadets also receive a competitive wage while working in the Department of Safety.

The Denver Public Safety Cadet Program is dedicated to developing, administering, and maintaining a program-wide physical abilities test that encourages a high level of fitness standards, improves physical skills and performance of cadets, and prepares cadets for the demands and expectations of public safety training academies.

Cadets will have the opportunity to participate in monthly fitness training's and other health and fitness related opportunities and are provided health and fitness information that will positively impact and empower them to maintain an educated, health-conscious lifestyle.

Cadet Fitness Standards are set by the Cadet Fitness Committee.

Public safety cadet compensation:  $11.15 an hour and in-state tuition and books at Metro or UCD.

Public safety cadets are classified on-call training positions not eligible for benefits and may work up to 35 hours per week.  Typically during school breaks and summer recess cadets may work up to 35 hours per week.  When school is in session cadets may work up to 25 hours per week. 

There are 268 former cadets now employed by Denver.  Many of these former cadets have earned leadership roles within their organizations and are excelling at their craft.  The majority of former Cadets have chosen to continue their careers in law enforcement or fire service with the City and County of Denver. 

Within the Denver Police Department there are over 130 former cadets now employed in sworn ranks from Police Officer to Lieutenant.  The Denver Fire Department employs over 100 former cadets from Division Chief to Firefighter.  Other former cadets are actively employed at the Denver Sheriff Department, Denver 911, DPD Photo Enforcement, DPD Crime Lab, Public Works, District Attorney, Manager of Safety, and other city departments. 

Cadets outside of city employment can be found as engineers, attorneys, US Military professionals, and doctors.  All cadets have distinguished themselves as leaders in their chosen field and contributing to the good of the community in which they serve.

Every cadet will participate in monthly trainings. These trainings incorporate essential aspects and skills for pursuing a career in public safety. Examples of training cadets will receive are self defense tactics, officer safety, radio communications, firearms, defensive driving, SWAT, K9, engine and truck operations, fire safety, arson investigation, and many more.

Cadets will have the opportunity to participate in annual mini academies for the Fire Department and Law Enforcement. These are week-long trainings that incorporate all aspects of the jobs and expose cadets to how academy classes are run and taught.

The Cadet Program runs like a paramilitary organization, and cadets are held to the highest standard in terms of appearance. Uniform Inspections are performed on a regular basis, and it is expected that cadets always look their best with a pressed and clean uniform.

Fitness is highly stressed within the cadet program. There are certain requirements that cadets must meet before being accepted into a police, fire, or sheriff academy. Cadets will be exposed to rigorous fitness trainings, and will be taught crossfit, Krav maga, and other functional fitness training that is relevant to careers in public safety.    

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Being part of the Denver Public Safety Cadet Program offers tremendous personal and professional advantages. Submit your interest in the program today.

Contact Us

Cadet Leader Tori Gavito, Cadet Recruiter