Junior Cadet Program Sees Record Number of Campers

Push ups, jumping jacks, touring the City’s jail cells aren’t exactly what most students would equate with summer fun, but apparently it’s striking a chord with Everett students as a record number of cadets have turned out this week for the Everett Police Department’s Jr. Cadet program.

The week long camp is for grades 5-8, and uses high school students as camp counselors, and teaches them about the police and careers in law enforcement. Chief Steve Mazzie has indicated that the 15-year-old program, which is unique to the area, has become a cornerstone in relations between young people in Everett and the police. He also indicated its an excellent recruiting tool for youths who are in the early stages of considering a career as a police officer.

To that end, some 70 students and 15 or so counselors have descended upon the Police Station and Glendale Park for a week’s worth of learning and activities.

Coordinated by Officers Jeff Gilmore and Pat Cassidy – with cooperation from many other officers – the young people will have a daily regiment of physical training activities, but will also visit the Coast Guard Station in Boston, Breakheart Reservation for a Dive Team Demonstration, and will get to watch a Blackhawk Helicopter land on Glendale Park.

“We usually have about 35 or 40 students and a lot of them are repeat cadets,” said Gilmore. “However, we’ve really tried to step it up this year with more trips and having the helicopter come a second year. The kids really like this camp and this year we have about 70, many more than we’ve had before.”

It’s also, both said, a good opportunity for kids to learn about what the police encounter, and how they feel about enforcing the law.

“We discuss with them what’s going on in the country now and the concerns about what people think of the police,” said Gilmore. “We show them what we really do and who we really are. Many of us bring our kids to the camp also. The cadets see us as people and that’s important. If you see a police car driving around, you don’t get that personal interaction. The cadets get to know us as Jeff and Pat, and that will continue after camp.”

Added Cassidy, “They older counselors and the cadets also really get to see police work as it pertains to a potential career. That’s an important aspect too.”

On Monday, the cadets were seen touring the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center, the Police Station and the Police vehicles. When they weren’t doing that, they were exercising in the park.

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Junior Police Cadet Justin Jones strains as he does push-ups in Glendale Park on Monday afternoon during physical training. The Everett Jr. Cadet Police Camp got underway for its 15th year of activities and with a record number of interested cadets. Chief Steve Mazzie said the program is a cornerstone to building relations between young people and the police.

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Jr. Cadet Brianna Medina listens to Officer David Butler talk about the City’s video monitoring system.

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Sgt. Larry Jedry shows the cadets how a person is arrested, booked and put in a jail cell at the Station.

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Officer Pat Cassidy shows counselors Larissa Lima and Fred Joseph what the inside of a jail cell looks like.

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Amelia Potts looks into the new Bearcat armored vehicle that Everett just procured. It will be shared with Revere, Winthrop, Malden and possibly Chelsea. It came at a cost of $300,000.

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Officer Matt Cunningham shows the junior cadets the SWAT vehicle that Everett Police utilized during the Boston Marathon Bombing.

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9-1-1 Dispatcher Donna Bevans demonstrates the procedures for a 9-1-1 call to cadets Gil Bairos and Kristina Yebba.

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Officer Jeff Gilmore encourages the junior cadets to keep going during the physical training portion of camp on Monday.

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