REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police cadets dressed in bright yellow shirts are patrolling local parks, this summer, in an effort to watch for and deter crime. Lt. Curtis Chambers says the young cadets are a great addition to the department, but it’s not a new program. "We actually last used them approximately 10 years ago. Cadets are 18- to 21-years of age; they have an interest in law enforcement as a possible career choice; they are tasked with patrolling our city parks on bicycles."
Lt. Chambers says Redmond was forced to shut down the cadet program a decade ago, due to budget cuts during the economic downturn. The department brought it back after feedback from recent public surveys. "The city of Redmond heard loud and clear from those who live here and use our parks that they wanted more of a police presence in our parks system. We felt the same way, that law enforcement was needed to connect with people in the park at a positive level and to deter criminal activity."
Four cadets patrol in teams of two during peak times. They are unarmed but are trained to defend themselves. And, their work is already paying off. One team helped track down a kid suspected of breaking into the Little League concession stand at Bowlby Field and taking more than a thousand dollars. A total of six people were arrested this week, in connection with that June 22 burglary. Read more about the break-in.
Lt. Chambers tells KBND News, "It is a program, which we are very proud to have back. Our cadets this year are doing an outstanding, amazing job; we’re happy to have them. The feedback we’ve been hearing from the public who utilize our parks and have interacted with our cadets have been very positive."
Cadets are sworn in, in this Redmond PD photo from June 2017