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Police cadets ready for ‘rigorous’ training in Taber

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge College, Taber police begin training new cadets' Lethbridge College, Taber police begin training new cadets
For the first time ever, Lethbridge College has partnered with the Taber Police Service to offer comprehensive police cadet training in the southern Alberta town. Eloise Therien has more on who is taking part, and what they’ll be learning. – Nov 1, 2021

Twelve police cadets have just begun their training in Taber, Alta., after being chosen to take part in a one-of-a-kind program.

In partnership with Lethbridge College, the Taber Police Service will be hosting the training program for the next 23 weeks.

“For the last probably eight months, we’ve been in discussion and now building the program, the structure of the program, to host in our community,” TPS Chief Graham Abela explained.

The partnership to deliver the program has been ongoing for the last several years, but this is the first time Taber is hosting.

Lethbridge and Medicine Hat have held training in previous years.

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According to Lethbridge College, it’s the only police training program of its kind offered by a public college in Canada.

“(In early spring,) we starting planning for the cadet program and this offering,” said Trudi Mason with the justice and human resources department at the college.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to be here in Taber and have our instructors working with the cadets as well.”

“It’s a large program. It’s got a rigorous (curriculum),” added Abela.

The dozen cadets have all been chosen and sponsored by an existing police agency, including TPS, Blood Tribe Police Service and Canadian Pacific Railway Police.

Nicholas Sahl, a cadet with experience as a peace officer who lives in the Wetaskiwin area, said he’s looking forward to furthering his skills to work in the police force.

“I’m excited to finally be making that point of getting hired and going to training and serving my community as best I can,” Sahl said.

“It’s going to be a challenging 23 weeks, but I think it’s going to be a great 23 weeks as well.”

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Their program is set to begin with training in cultural awareness and diversity, records management, driving, firearms, arrest and control.

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“I think there are about 32 different subject matter experts in policing that are coming to provide educational and vocational training to the cadets in the program,” Abela said.

“I’m very excited for the driving training. I hear it’s a lot of fun,” said police cadet Autumn Jerry. “Very nervous for the taser and (pepper spray).”

While Abela said employment isn’t guaranteed upon completion of the program, their intention is to hire candidates who meet provincial policing requirements.

“We don’t want vacancies in police agencies, but it’s up to us as leaders in law enforcement to provide the opportunities in order to get appropriate, professional (standardized training) in place,” he said.

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