Cadet Program


This is an exciting opportunity for community youth to volunteer beside the men and women of law enforcement in a program that is synonymous with the nationally recognized police explorer program. Police Cadets are community service volunteers between the ages of 14 - 20 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 uniform and under the supervision of a police officer, who has been designated as the program coordinator. 


To promote and provide positive young adult engagement through police and community involvement participation.

To organize, maintain, and provide trained young adults for community service projects and certain law enforcement functions. 

To create the potential for young adults to learn discipline, responsibility, leadership, character development, build confidence, and instill the importance of continuing their education.

To provide elementary law enforcement awareness and training to give young adults the experience necessary to understand the complexities of a career in law enforcement.

To promote teamwork through achievement as well as personal and group development.

All volunteer hours fulfill community service requirements for high school graduation and college entry applications. 

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The Peninsula Law Enforcement Explorer Academy is a significant step in the training process. The Academy is sponsored by the Law Enforcement Explorer Advisers Association, the Police Chiefs’ Association of San Mateo County, and Cañada College. There are two academy classes held each year with classes 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 to mentor youth in our community. 

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
Crime Prevention Crime Scene Investigation Criminal Justice System Ethics
Fingerprinting Firearms Familiarity Firearms Safety First Aid
Human Relations History of Law Enforcement Narcotics 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. 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. In addition, cadets are required to attend monthly meetings and complete 10 hours of volunteer work per month. 


To apply to be a Police Cadet, please complete the City of San Mateo Employment Application first. Second, you must print the application and mail, fax, or drop it off to the San Mateo Police Department lobby in care of Master Officer Jason Chice.

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