Unique program helps Oklahoma City teens learn more about police work
OKLAHOMA CITY – A unique program geared to help inner city kids follow their dreams is being made possible through a partnership between Metro Tech and the Oklahoma City Police Department.
This year, the program is giving dozens of cadets between the ages of 17 and 19 years old an opportunity to find out what it takes to become police officers.
The goal is to help kids have a positive future through mentoring, education and jobs.
Only 36 cadets out of hundreds of applicants were invited into this year’s ‘Metro Tech Law Enforcement Education Program.’
“I want to get ready for my future. I want to be a police officer,” said Mikaela Winkleblack.
The program is stationed at Metro Technology Center’s S. Bryant campus.
These kids will learn everything from criminal law to defense tactics.
Most importantly, it’s designed to reach kids who live in the inner city, have limited resources and a lack of positive role models.
“Being an officer would put me in the position to help. Growing up and seeing robberies in your neighborhood, which could be friends or family of friends, it would just be an honor to help,” said Danielle Macedon.
“I can’t think of anything I’m more proud of in my 38 years than having you sitting out there being part of this program,” said Oklahoma City Chief of Police Bill Citty.
Citty said the recruiting program is unique because his officers’ guidance goes beyond high school.
“We help them get into college,” Citty said. “We want them to work. We try to help them find jobs.”
It’s guidance that D`Angela Hunter said has already shaped her future.
She graduated from the Metro Tech program last year and is now an Oklahoma City Police Cadet.
“My character traits have gotten really better. I’m honest, I have integrity, I’m loyal, and I respect everyone and I have a lot of responsibility,” Hunter said.
“When people see you doing good, they want to do good as well, and I think I could be a role model to my friends,” Macedon said.
About 80 percent of Metro Tech cadets from last year’s program have moved onto the Oklahoma City Police Department’s cadet program, which serves adults 18 to 21 years old.
That program gets them one step closer to being qualified as an Oklahoma City police officer.