PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It takes a lot to become a member of the law enforcement community, and that's why the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is hosting a cadet-explorer training program, so teens can get a taste of what it takes to protect and serve.
Police training usually take about six times the amount of time these kids will spend in the classroom, but it's all in the name of generating interest in law enforcement.
"They're not getting every single bit of training, our training program is 24 weeks, theirs is two weeks," Deputy Sgt. Jesus Jerez said. "We try to give them as much as they can take and have fun with it too and then hopefully spark that interest in becoming a police officer."
The training program focuses on real-life tactics and problem solving, hoping to get the cadets to think like an officer.
"Everything from physical fitness drilling inspection, note taking, crime scene management training, some hands on building clearing... it's an array of as much of what we can get them in two weeks," Deputy Sgt. Jerez said.
At the end of the two weeks, progress in each of the cadets is obvious. They're more confident, aware and excited about earning that uniform, and they aren't the only ones excited to see what the future holds.
"It 's exciting, it's exciting to see what it is that will take my place one day, take the place of my colleagues across the Valley... hope!" Deputy Sgt. Jerez said.