The City of Cape Town’s Metro Police Volunteer Youth Cadet Programme is delivering dividends to a group of young people in its ranks.
As part of the programme’s exit strategy, 27 cadets who have already matriculated or are completing Grade 12 this year have been identified to undergo learner driver training. The Metro Police Department is also facilitating access to other training interventions and potential bursaries for the group, in partnership with the City’s Human Resources Training and Development Section.‘These opportunities are our way of saying thank you to the cadets who have shown commitment and dedication to the programme and who have proven that they want to be active citizens in their communities and be social agents of change. Some of our cadets were the embodiment of youth at risk when they first attended our weekend camps and the change that is evident in them is really something to behold and a feat they can be proud of,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The Volunteer Youth Cadet Programme was born from the Metro Police youth camps, launched in May 2013. The Western Cape Education Department identified schools to participate in the camps themed around positive youth development. Learners who showed the most improvement in behaviour and discipline after attending the camps were selected to register as youth cadets. The cadet programme started with a first intake of 32 members and has subsequently grown to 85 cadets.
‘We are the first administration in the country to have a cadet programme in place and other Metro Police departments are now showing interest. The programme is fast becoming the poster child for the Safety and Security Directorate’s social crime prevention strategy, proving that we are not only focusing on enforcement, but also investing in preventative measures to divert youth at risk from a life of crime. I also want to commend our staff who sacrifice their weekends to run the programme and enrich the lives of our cadets,’ added Alderman Smith.
The programme aims to help its members become active community leaders by instilling social responsibility and working in partnership with the Metro Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to fight crime and keep the city safe. Cadets are eligible to wear the uniform, go out on public duty (under supervision) and receive membership award certificates.