O'Fallon Progress

Interested in becoming a police officer? Metro-east Cadets of Policing program offers insight to young adults.

Fairview Heights Police Chief Nicholas Gailius, along with Illinois State Police Commander Timothy Tyler, are proud to announce the start of the third session of the Metro-east Cadets of Policing (MECOP). This highly successful program is for young men and women, ages 14 to 21, who are interested in learning more about a possible career in policing. This is an ongoing program where cadets may be involved for a number of years in the program, until they reach the maximum age of 21.

Cadets will be placed into a learning environment to help prepare them for careers on policing or public service. In addition to learning policing techniques, the cadets will be exposed to training on ethics and integrity, leadership and teamwork, fitness, communications skills, and career preparedness.

In addition to learning about policing, the program will offer cadets opportunities for community service, fundraising, and fun activities including both educational field trips and recreational entertainment including camping, sporting events, and other outdoor activities.

The primary goals of MECOP are to:

▪ serve as a tool to diversify police candidate recruitment in the area;

▪ promote positive interactions and understanding between police and youth;

▪ provide career development skills to cadets;

▪ develop a sense of community and a dedication to service among young men and women; and

▪ have fun.

The program is currently taking applications and will officially kick off the ten week academy on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

Many police agencies in the metro-east are actively involved, including the Fairview Heights Police, Illinois State Police, East St. Louis Police, Shiloh Police Department, Swansea Police Department, and Mascoutah Police Department. The program is also supported by a number of other organizations including the United States Attorney’s Office, the St. Clair County States’ Attorney (Brendan Kelly), the Boy Scouts of America, Lindenwood University, and the Law Enforcement Foundation of Illinois.

An informational dinner will be held at the Fairview Heights Police Department on Dec. 7. To RSVP, or for questions, please call Amber Hopkins at the Fairview Heights Police Department at (618) 489-2158.