CALUMET CITY | Police Chief Edward L. Gilmore said he wants to create a new program that would give selected young people first-hand experience in what a police officer does.
Gilmore told the City Council on Thursday he wants to create a citizens police cadet program, in which local residents would get a chance to work with police, study what they do and, in some cases, even be called upon to make judgment calls about how to handle potential emergency situations.
“We’ll put them into simulations and see how they would handle the situation,” Gilmore said. “They might find that it is a lot harder to do than they realize right now.”
Gilmore said he envisions the program as cadet classes of up to 21 people in both the spring and autumn. He said he would want aldermen to nominate participants and says he’d like each alderman to name two or three individuals who reside in their respective wards.
Third Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones said he likes the idea to get their constituents more aware of the responsibilities of the police.
“The chief is challenging us to do more to get people involved in the community,” Jones said.
The chief wants the first cadet class to begin this autumn, and he said he would want aldermen to make their nominations for that first class by July 15, which would allow ample time for preparations for a first class beginning shortly after Labor Day.
Gilmore said he envisions each cadet class as lasting for 12 weeks, adding that he already has developed a syllabus of activities for such a program.
Qualifications for the program are minimal for now. Gilmore said he would want people who are at least 21 years old, and who have passed a nominal criminal background check.
“I really want this to be open to all,” the chief said. “I want for people to get to know exactly what we do.”
In a separate matter, the City Council approved a resolution honoring police Commander William Siems for being named Man of the Year by the Polish American Police Association. Aldermen also approved a $650 payment for the association’s banquet on May 3, at which Siems will receive the honor.