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Graduation day for young police cadets

December 12, 2013

sue 2WE glimpsed into the future as the ‘vanguard movement’ of Staffordshire’s good citizens of tomorrow took their collective bow at an awards ceremony.

The first tranche of Staffordshire’s Young Police Cadets from the Cannock unit celebrated their achievements at the event.

All 21 members were presented with certificates – for personal safety and drill – at Cannock Community fire station.

The cadet scheme was a key election pledge for Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis – aiming to strengthen links between the police and young people and promote good citizenship.

I joined Mr Ellis and assistant chief constable Julian Blazeby to present the certificates to the 14 to 17-year-olds.

This was the first of many graduation ceremonies for the Cannock Branch of Staffordshire’s Young Police Cadets Service.

The service is all about giving advantages to young people – some from challenging backgrounds – who through a positive and vibrant programme can learn how to become responsible citizens.

This is not about youngsters from elite and advantaged backgrounds. It’s about giving young people an opportunity to build character and a sense of civic duty, no matter what their challenges.

The heart of the scheme is to reconnect youngsters more widely with the police service in Staffordshire. It’s about developing young people, building their leadership skills and understanding what it is to be a good citizen.

sueAs deputy police and crime commissioner, I presented police officers who volunteer to help run our Stafford unit with certificates.

In addition Kerry Wright, from the Cannock Chase District Council Partnership team, was awarded a certificate of thanks for becoming a Gold Patron of the cadet scheme.

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: “I am very proud of the young people who have joined the Staffordshire Police Cadets units in Stafford and Cannock.

“The dedication and commitment of those young people gives me confidence in the future, every week they learn new skills and they are already making a fantastic contribution to their communities as well as gaining a real insight into our work.

“I am really pleased that another group of cadets are now in uniform and are out in our community and I look forward to seeing our latest recruits grow and develop over the coming months.”

Cadets work towards Duke of Edinburgh bronze, silver and gold awards having a go at hiking, climbing and orienteering.

THANKS A MILLION: Kerry Wright, from Cannock Chase District Council, collects her award from myself and commissioner Ellis

THANKS A MILLION: Kerry Wright, from Cannock Chase District Council, collects her award from myself and commissioner Ellis

Businesses are being invited to become patrons to help fund uniforms and equipment for the cadets.

In return for becoming a patron, businesses’ contributions are recognised through publicity, a framed certificate and other opportunities. Police Mutual became the inaugural patrons after paying for uniforms for cadets in the Stafford unit.

The cadet boys and girls will be part of a uniformed and disciplined service, and they will become more self confident and outgoing – attributes often known as soft skills which are really important in the course of the globally competitive life our boys and girls now grow up in.

Companies value these soft skills and research shows that they are as important as their academic qualifications.

A positive attitude, good communications, problem solving attributes, self confidence, the ability to accept and learn from criticism, and versatility.

These are very important skills which are encompassed within our cadet scheme through the Duke of Edinburgh award. They will be led by professional inspirational leaders whose responsibility it is to invest in the future of our Staffordshire young citizens.

We are very fortunate that our chief constable and his staff share the same vision for the cadets and are instrumental in delivering the programme on our behalf.

The commissioner made a manifesto promise that the cost of the cadet units would not impact on policing budgets and in budgetary terms I must stress that we have kept our PROMISE not to redirect money that’s used for frontline policing to fund the cadets.

line up

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