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Department of Public Safety Opens Cadet Program Application Period Seeks Exceptional Applicants Committed to Public Service


The Department of Public Safety today announced it will accept applications for its Public Safety Cadet Program from Dec. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017.  Housed in the Department of Public Safety, the Cadet Program is an academic, training, fitness and leadership development program for individuals interested in a career in public safety.


“Public Safety Cadets have the unique opportunity to work alongside police officers, firefighters, sheriff deputies and public safety officials and learn firsthand the sacrifice, work ethic and character it takes to do the job right,” said Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley.


While attending college, cadets interact with sworn personnel and learn responsibilities related to law enforcement, fire district and corrections service administration and operations. They rotate assignments in the Department of Public Safety’s various agencies, learning applicable state and city laws; departmental rules and regulations; bureau functions and responsibilities; first aid; patrol and investigative techniques; report preparation; and other responsibilities related to public safety work.


“Cadets are taught the importance of striving for excellence in every task, large or small,” said O’Malley. “Importantly, they also learn the value of organization and life balance as they attend school, fulfill their duties as cadets, and work in secondary jobs.”


Cadet compensation includes $11.54 an hour and paid in-state tuition at Metro State University or the University of Colorado at Denver. Cadets are required to attend school full-time. The benefits of a college education for public safety professionals are numerous and include greater job mobility, promotional opportunity, personal satisfaction, and greater verbal reasoning and problem-solving capacity.  


The Cadet Program operates like a paramilitary organization and cadets are held to high professional standards. Applicants must be willing to follow a command structure and adhere to strict policies regarding punctuality, attire, conduct and fitness. Those accepted into the program are expected to pass four physical fitness exams annually, which include a 1.5 mile run and scored sit-ups and push-ups.


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


Minimum qualifications for the Cadet Program include:

  • HS Diploma or GED 
  • Valid CO Driver's License at application
  • CO residency
  • No felony convictions
  • Ability to qualify for in-state tuition rate
  • Ability to meet strict background standards (criminal history, drug use, driving record)
  • Ability to be admitted as a student to the University of Colorado Denver or Metro State University
  • No more than 60 college credit hours completed at the closing of application


Beyond meeting the minimum qualifications, entry into the Cadet Program is highly competitive.  A strong academic record of achievement, community service, volunteer work, professional certifications, bilingual skills and other criteria will be considered during the application process.


Hundreds of former cadets are currently employed by the Denver Police, Fire and Sheriff Departments, Denver 911, Denver District Attorney’s Office, and other departments in the City and County of Denver.  Many of these former cadets have earned leadership roles within their organizations and use their skills to further their commitment to public service. 


To apply for the Public Safety Cadet Program, visit from Dec. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017.


CLICK HERE for video footage of Public Safety cadets. Please credit use of the video to the Denver Police Department.