Mayor Jeri Muoio of West Palm Beach Supports A Police Department Cadet Program

City of West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio supported a cadet program that would give part-time posts to four members of the Police Explorers group who want to pursue a career in law enforcement.

The curriculum would enhance the recruitment and retention of diverse, qualified police officer candidates. Cadets would work a minimum of 20 hours each week (up to a maximum of 29 hours) on a variety of shift assignments. Ideal cadet candidates would be 18- to 24-year-old experienced West Palm Beach Police Department (WPBPD) Explorers who have graduated from high school, are enrolled in college and want to pursue a career with the WPBPD.

The Explorers is an educational and training program for young adults 14 to 21 years of age. Participants have the opportunity to receive hands-on training and experience with top officers in specific fields, exposure through the WPBPD’s “Ride Along” Program, after attending the Explorer Academy, forge relationships with members of the City of West Palm Beach communities, and prepare for entry into the Police Academy or a career in criminal justice.

Cadet Program participants would participate in structured experiences in a range of related responsibilities, including crime scene processing, dispatch, evidence collection and storage, investigations, patrol techniques and report writing. The in-house training the cadets receive prior to attending the police academy has been designed to enhance the probability of their successful completion of academy training, for which they are eligible while employed by the department, and becoming productive full-time members of the WPBPD. The current minimum age to attend the Police Academy is 19 years; the current minimum age for police department officer applicants is 21 years.

Successful implementation of the Cadet Program will result in a pool of up-to-four part-time employees consistently available for future long-term, full-time employment opportunities within the WPBPD as vacancies arise.

No benefits are provided to cadets, who will receive an hourly pay rate of $12. Funding in the amount of $77,092 will need to be included in the fiscal year 2015-2016 budgets to cover the new cadet positions.

Safety has been a top priority of the mayor during her four years in office. Statistics show that the City of Wet Palm Beach has become safer during her term, with property crime down 16 percent, overall crime reduced by 13 percent, and crime in the Coleman Park area having fallen 38 percent. She supported a new state-of-the-art police radio system that protects West Palm Beach officers and saves the city more than $5 million. Muoio is currently running for a second term as mayor of the City of West Palm Beach.

“Today our neighborhoods are patrolled by more police officers,” said Muoio. “…I am making our community’s safety a top priority and am honored to have the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA).”

Jeri Muoio holds a doctorate in academic administration from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) Oswego. Residents of West Palm Beach, Muoio and her husband, Charles, have a daughter and three grandchildren.

Release ID: 76522