New LU Cadet program prepares future, local law enforcement talent
Organizers hope to expand the program to other colleges, universities in Lynchburg-area.
LYNCHBURG, Va. – "It’s a hard field to go into.” That’s what officers are saying while they teach young people who could become the future of law enforcement.
The new LU Cadet program is a first of its kind that could help Lynchburg police recruit local talent.
On Wednesday, Liberty University students with the Criminal Justice Club watched videos and received hands-on lessons from Lynchburg police officers about traffic stops and the risks that may come along with it.
Freshmen Dylan Seekamp and his colleagues are criminal justice majors with hopes of working in law enforcement someday.
"My aspiration is to go into the federal level for the FBI,” Seekamp said.
Seekamp created the Liberty University cadet program after getting a feel for it in his hometown back in Connecticut.
"It boosted my self-confidence and it was just something that I thought everyone who wants to enter the field of law enforcement should be able to have the opportunity to do this,” Seekamp said.
An opportunity he felt Sargent Gary Fink with LPD should be a part of too.
"Very good opportunity for the Lynchburg police department to contact upcoming law enforcement officers,” Fink said.
The program started in fall 2019. Since then, students say they’ve learned so much.
"And it’s good to actually bring that to them and actually come out here and do practical application with what we instruct about in the cadet program. And it kind of brings everything where they can fully understand what they’re getting themselves involve with,” Fink said.
Lynchburg police is another department in the nation struggling with retention. Fink says this is just another way to catch these college students where they are.
"And hopefully pull them to us before somebody else snatches them up, which is what we want to do,” Fink said.
Later this year, officer Fink and Dylan hope to expand the program to other colleges and universities in the Lynchburg-area.
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