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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Cadets

Please read the information below to learn about the program and how to apply!

 Mission Statement
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Cadet Program will provide qualified students, actively enrolled in a local college, an opportunity to work in a professional, law enforcement environment, while learning about and training for future employment as a Police Officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The program's intent is to enhance the participating student's knowledge of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and all operating aspects so that when the participant turns 21, he or she may enter into a career as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer.
As Cadets work in different areas of the department, they will develop the necessary skills to make them the type of Officer CMPD needs to be successful in its mission to prevent the next crime.

Police Cadets are assigned to various units within the CMPD, based on unit need.  Students entering the program as Freshmen may to be assigned to tasks that may not require as much in-depth knowledge of the department's function as a more experienced student in the program. 
Among other duties, Cadets: 
  • Will receive extensive training in the use of department data bases and reporting systems, Police Communications, Ethics and Smith System Safe Driving techniques, among other training 
  • Will be evaluated, according to attendance, grades, uniform and appearance, and completion of work assignments, among other areas of work-based performance
  • Will maintain eligibility for full-time employment as a CMPD Employee


Minimum Standards:

  • 17 - 22 Years Old.
  • Valid Driver's License.
  • High School Graduate or GED.
  • Resident of Mecklenburg County.  To ensure compliance with residency requirement, students should be graduates of a high school (public, private, charter or home-school) in Mecklenburg County.
  • Current College or University Student, taking a minimum 12 semester hours and maintaining a minimum 2.0 ("C") average.
  • Students must be enrolled in a Criminal Justice or Criminology Program.  Students enrolled in other study programs in related fields, such as Forensic Science, must be pre-approved by the Chief of Police before hire as a Cadet. 
  • Be able to commit 20 hours per week to the program, year round.
  • Has not committed or been convicted of any felony or serious misdemeanors.
  • Pass an extensive background investigation including polygraph examination, medical examination and drug screening.
  • Certain past drug use will result in disqualification.


  • Paid $10.00/hour
  • Flexible Schedule
  • May be eligible for tuition reimbursement pending pre-approval by the Program Director based on City of Charlotte Policy
  • Program may be used toward Internship Credit **
  • Cadets may apply to become CMPD Officers when they graduate or turn 21 years of age

What Former and Current Cadets say about the Program:
“The Cadet Program has given me an opportunity to view the police in a new light. They are teachers, motivators, and friends.  I have learned that working with others is necessary to get things done. I have also learned that responsibility and reliability are key in order to be a good cadet.”-CMPD Cadet, 2011

“I have been a Police Cadet for two years.  The pay is good. Having college paid for is a great financial help, and the extremely flexible hours are great for full-time college students.  Although the previous three benefits are more than sufficient, much more can be obtained through the Cadet program.  Experience acquired through this program is of utmost importance.  [The program] provides an excellent foundation of knowledge, a diverse work and personality environment for improved interaction with the public, and a well-rounded job description to enable increased performance for a future career in the CMPD.”- CMPD Cadet, 2011

"It's a job and responsibility. I learned how to work well with others to achieve goals and have formed close friendships with those I work with. Some Cadets have worked with each other for years and look upon each other as friends who can count on one another on or off the clock.  I have built friendships with officers and have benefited from the insight I have gained on law enforcement. This hands-on program allows me to work in the community with officers to achieve different community goals."  Cadet 2004

"The Cadet program allowed me to become familiar with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and to meet officers. I was able to work with officers on a regular basis and see what the job of a CMPD Officer is all about."  Cadet December 1998; CMPD Police Academy Graduate November 2003

How To Get Involved:
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department employs a maximum of 20 Cadets at any one time. If you have any questions please contact:  
Officer Ryan Botzenmayer
Community Services and Youth Division
601 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

**Special Note: 
Students must seek out information from their individual school on using the Cadet Program as an Internship.  In addition, this program is designed to allow the student to work for a longer period of time than the traditional Internship.  Call for more details. 

A position as Cadet does not guarantee a future position as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer.