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Public Safety Cadet Program

If you are interested in a career in the Department of Public Safety as a Denver police officer, firefighter, or deputy sheriff, the Cadet Program offers a great opportunity and avenue for consideration.  The mission of the Cadet Program is to serve the community by developing disciplined, educated, and diverse candidates that are team-oriented, physically fit, and prepared for public safety employment.  

Cadet applicants who desire a future career in public safety work 25-35 hours per week in the Denver Police, Fire, and Sheriff Department's while attending college full-time.  Cadet compensation includes $11.54 an hour, and in-state tuition and books at Metro State University of Denver or the University of Colorado Denver. 


HS Diploma or GED 

Valid CO Driver's License at application

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 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 reviewed during the course of the application process.

The following items must be submitted at the time of application:

  • Professional resume
  • High school and/or college transcripts (unofficial)
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation 
  • A minimum of three references

The Denver Public Safety Cadet Program is a specialized training and education program designed to help strengthen and diversify 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. 

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 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 Executive Director of Safety.



Once an applicant has been hired there are several 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
  • Cadets must acheive high academic standards

Achievement Recognition
Cadets receive special recognition for obtaining GPA's above 3.5 during any academic semester.  The benefits of a college education for law enforcement and fire service professionals are numerous. Research indicates greater job mobility, promotional opportunity, personal satisfaction, and other intrinsic values.  For the community, research indicates less use of force incidents and greater verbal reasoning and problem solving capacity.   Those in need of emergency safety services will also benefit from advanced safety training and emergency medical training from our sworn public safety personnel.


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.

Tuition and Fees:  

Public safety cadet compensation:  $11.54 an hour, and in-state tuition and books at Metro State University of Denver or University of Colorado Denver.

Public safety cadets are classified on-call training positions not eligible for benefits and may work up to 35 hours per week.  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 hundreds of former cadets currently employed by Denver.  Many of these former cadets have chosen to continue their careers in law enforcement or fire service with the City and County of Denver, and have earned leadership roles within their organizations. Other former cadets are actively employed by the Executive Director of Public Safety's Office, Denver 911, Photo Enforcement, the Denver Crime Lab, Public Works, the District Attorney's Office, and other city departments. 

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







Every cadet will participate in monthly training which incorporates essential aspects and skills for pursuing a career in public safety. Cadets receive training on self defense tactics, officer safety, radio communications, firearms, defensive driving, SWAT, K9, engine and truck operations, fire safety, arson investigation, and other public safety skills.

Cadets will have the opportunity to participate in annual mini academies for the Fire Department and Law Enforcement. These are week-long training sessions 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 training, and will be taught crossfit, Krav maga, and other functional fitness training that is relevant to careers in public safety.    

The next Cadet Program application period is Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2019. On December 1, 2019, you will be able to access the job application via the Jobs webpage at Entry into the Program is highly competitive and applicants are subject to an extensive screening, evaluation and verification process.   

The merit based process to become a cadet includes:

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

* Beyond meeting the minimum qualifications, a strong academic record of achievement, community service, volunteer work, professional certifications, bilingual skills, and other criteria will be reviewed during the course of the application process.  Not all applicants will advance to the academy but all applicants are encouraged to continue to follow their career goals.

Contact Us

Denver Public Safety Cadet Program

1331 Cherokee Street, Suite 302

Denver, CO 80204

Phone:  720-913-6830


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