SIDNEY — Two members of the Public Safety Cadets program of the Sidney Police Department recently attended and participated in a statewide competition.
Kaylee Cotterman and Skyler Grimm represented the Sidney Public Safety Cadets at the Heart of Ohio Regional Law Enforcement Explorer Competition, held April 22 and 23 in Galena. According to Sgt. Chris Burmeister of the Sidney PD, who also leads the Public Safety Cadet program, the cadets were given scenarios with role players. Scenarios consisted of domestic violence, traffic stops, traffic crash, dealing with mentally disturbed, bomb threats, crime scene, air pistols, and an obstacle course.
“It has given the cadets we have a glimpse into what it entails to be a law enforcement officer, and it has allowed them to have a hands-on experience in law enforcement to a degree,” Burmeister said.
The scenarios that the cadets encountered during the competition are consistent with what they have learned so far through the program. Cotterman and Grimm joined the Toledo Police Department Public Safety Cadet Unit 35 during the competition and participated jointly with them during the scenarios.
“TPD PSC Unit assisted us in putting our PSC Unit together and has even allowed us to come to their facility to have a joint meeting,” Burmeister said.
The Public Safety Cadets program was first announced by the Sidney Police Department in October, and currently has three cadets, with many people calling and asking about the program, according to Burmeister. The program is primarily aimed at anyone age 14 to 20 with a minimum 2.0 GPA, who are interested in public service. In the past, some Law Enforcement Explorer Posts used to be in the area but have since been disbanded. The cadets program coming into the area has been something Burmeister has wanted for a while now.
“I have wanted to see a program like this come back in existence in this area. This program is a way to keep the youth and law enforcement connected in a positive way,” Burmeister said.
Looking to the future, Burmeister said he wants to recruit more cadets and have cadets assist with things in the community such as teen academy, safety town, parades, stuff the bus and shop with a cop. He added that if the program recruits enough cadets, they may be able to go to a national competition.
Currently, the program has given the cadets a glimpse into what it entails to be a law enforcement officer.
“It has allowed them to have a hands-on experience in law enforcement, to a degree. I am hoping it helps building relationships with the youth in the area and allow them to see and somewhat experience what law enforcement really is,” Burmeister said.