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Youth Volunteer and Employment Programing

Cambridge Police

The Cambridge Police Department has a number of unique volunteer and employment programs designed specifically for young residents interested in a career in public safety. Through four primary programs —Youth Public Safety Academy, Explorers Program, Youth Police Academy and the Cadet Program — Cambridge youth ages 8-23 years old have several opportunities to gain exposure within the department by meeting with officers, receiving classroom training, gaining hands-on experience, and obtaining valuable leadership skills.

Youth Public Safety Academy: Ages 8-12 
In mid-August each summer, the week-long Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Youth Public Safety Academy is held for Cambridge residents 8-12 years old. The registration period is typically open in early March.

The camp is designed to expose our youngest residents to role models in public safety—including the Cambridge Police and Fire Departments — as well as to teach them valuable life and safety lessons. Cadets participate in a series of activities throughout the camp, visiting with local police and fire officials, learning how to make evacuation plans for emergency situations, and participating in exercises designed to demonstrate the power and importance of teamwork.

Timeline: One week; mid-August

Youth Explorers Program: Ages 12-14
Started in October 2019, the new Cambridge Police Youth Explorers Program is available for 7th and 8th graders in Cambridge. The Youth Explorers Program meets monthly for 90 minutes on Monday evenings at the Cambridge Police Department throughout the school year and participants will learn more about each of the units within the Department. Participants have an opportunity to remain in the program for up to three years. 

Timeline: Monthly; Monday evenings; October-June (up to three years)

Youth Summer Police Academy: Ages 14-18
Each summer, the Cambridge Police host the Cambridge Youth Police Academy, a 6-week, 120 hour instructional program designed to expose participating youth (ages 14-18) to the various duties associated with the law enforcement profession through hands-on experience as part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The registration period is typically open in early April. 

Youth workers learn about the role and function of Cambridge Police Officers and varying units within the Department, including the Traffic Unit, Explosive Ordnance Unit, and Special Response Team. They are also able to learn about and practice OUI stops, traffic stops, handcuffing, baton techniques and self-defense. Participants gain understanding about juvenile law, rights, and responsibilities with Strategies for Youth and the role of the Cambridge Fire Department, Emergency Communications Department and Pro EMS in public safety.  

Timeline: Monday-Thursday; July-August  

Cadet Program: Ages 18-23
In November 2019, the Cambridge Police launched a new Cadet Program designed for Cambridge residents 18-23 years old, who are interested in a career in public safety with the Department. The two-year program offers paid positions that provide on-the-job and classroom training. Police Cadets serves as extensions of our officers and they gain valuable insight into the Department’s community policing/case management model. Once they have successfully completed the program and passed the civil service police examination, a Police Cadet will be eligible for appointment as a police officer.  

Timeline: Weekdays; year-round (two years)

To learn more about these programs and how to apply, please contact the Cambridge Police Personnel Office at (617) 349-3374 or email 

Page was posted on 5/25/2022 2:42 PM
Page was last modified on 5/23/2024 9:55 AM
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