Cadet Program

  • Are you a highly motivated, hardworking young man or woman between the ages of 14 to 21 who is seeking to challenge yourself in a way that will make you a hero to your community?
  • Would you like to be part of an organization with a history going back more than 100 years with a long standing tradition of professionalism and public service?
  • Are you looking to fulfill your Community Service Requirement for High School Graduation while accepting a position that will teach you discipline, responsibility, and leadership?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of those questions, then apply today to be a Police Cadet with the San Mateo Police Department.

Police Cadets are community service volunteers between the ages of 14 to 21 years old, who are interested in learning, training, and participating in a wide variety of law enforcement functions and activities. Cadets serve the San Mateo Police Department and the community in special uniforms and under the overall direction of a police officer, who has been designated as the program coordinator and cadet advisor.

  • To promote and provide positive teenage and young adult activities through police and community involvement and participation.
  • To organize, maintain, and supply a trained reserve of people in the event of an emergency or disaster or for community service projects and functions.
  • To create the potential for young people to learn discipline, responsibility, leadership, character development and other social skills, build confidence, and instill the importance of continuing their school education.
  • To provide elementary law enforcement awareness and training, and to give young people the experience necessary for them to make an educated decision as to whether or not the complexities of a career in law enforcement is the future for them.
  • To promote a spirit of cooperation through achievement as well as personal and group development, and to enable them to give of themselves to the community.
The Peninsula Law Enforcement Explorer Academy is a significant step in the training process. The academy is sponsored by the Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association, the Police Chiefs’ Association of San Mateo County, and Cañada College. There are two academy classes held each year with each class normally spanning eight consecutive Sundays. The course contains approximately 100 hours of training and covers various topics in law enforcement. All academy instructors and staff are dedicated law enforcement professionals who volunteer their time and expertise.

The curriculum of the Academy conforms to the National Explorer training guidelines and includes courses on the following topics:
  • Accident Investigation
  • Arrest/Control Techniques
  • Communications
  • CPR/First Aid
  • Crime Prevention
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Ethics
  • Fingerprinting
  • Firearms Safety/Familiarity
  • Human Relations
  • History of Law Enforcement
  • Narcotics
  • Patrol Ride-Along
  • Patrol Procedures
  • Physical Training
  • Traffic Control
Candidates must be 14 to 20 years of age at the time of appointment and attend high school or college while maintaining at least a “C” average. Candidates who are 17 years old or younger require signed consent from their parent or guardian. If a graduate from high school or college, the candidate must be employed on a part-time or full-time basis. The candidate must be able to carry out oral and written directions and have a flexible schedule to include weekdays and weekends. There are also physical, background, and fingerprint requirements.

To apply to be a Police Cadet, complete the City of San Mateo Employment Application. Then print it out and mail, fax, or drop it off in the San Mateo Police Department lobby in care of Officer Laura Sharp or Officer Jason Chice.