GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — For 30 years, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) has offered the Explorer Cadet program.
“I saw that a lot of values of the job kind of went along with what I already believed,” said cadet Isaiah Perry. “It became a passion.”
Cadets meet each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. They are taught and tested on how to respond to crime scenes. They also go through different scenarios to learn what it is like to be a sheriff’s deputy.
“The goal is for them to see what law enforcement does on a regular basis with the hopes of one day saying, ‘Yes I want to complete the application and become a sheriff’s deputy or law enforcement officer,'” said Sgt. Natalie Hill.
The program is available for ages 14 to 20. Candidates must go through a background check and interview process just like sheriff’s deputies.
“When you’re introduced to things like that prior to going to the [police] academy, it makes a huge difference so you don’t go into a place where you are blindsided,” explained Hill.
Many of the employees at the GCSO went through the program themselves.
“Our current sheriff, Sheriff Hobart Lewis, was a former cadet as well,” said Hill.
Some cadets said the program has already made a difference in their lives.
“After I finish this program, I want to become a law enforcement officer,” said cadet Trenton Morris.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program can call 864-419-6322.