On Wednesday, April 12, the Vancouver Police Cadet Program was celebrated with the annual Cadets’ Mess Dinner. Members of the Cadet Program, the Vancouver Police, and the Vancouver Police Foundation attended this special evening. The Cadets’ Mess Dinner brings together the supporters of the program and the Cadets. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to interact. Special guests this year included the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, The Honorable Judith Guichon, and two-time Canadian Champion (10km race walk) Katelynn Ramage.
The Vancouver Police Cadet Program began in September of 2014. The program started with 60 Grade 10, 11, and 12 students; it has now grown to 100 Cadet participants in its third year. Cadets and front-line police officers work together – the Cadets learn valuable life skills such as leadership, physical fitness, self-discipline, and a desire for personal excellence.
Throughout the evening, many cadets shared their personal stories and experiences on how the Cadet Program has made a positive impact on their lives. Graduating Cadet Corporal Gaurev Kataria shared his personal experience with the program and how it’s impacted his life:
“A lot has changed in a year. I’ve met amazing new people, had great experiences, and gained skills that no textbook could ever teach me. I was taught the significance of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence. This program has taught me to stand up beyond the call and take initiative to become a better to role model. All the time spent with my fellow cadets and constables, have taught me what it is truly like to be part of the VPD family.”
Fellow graduating Cadet Sergeant Karm Rakhra expressed how the Cadet Program has given her the confidence and strength she needed to become the independent young woman she is today. She also shared a personal story about how her fellow peers from the Cadet Program were there for her when she needed them most:
“My life recently took a couple of hard hits. I found myself needing a helping hand, as the strong and fearless version of me had taken a back seat. And without a word, a blink of an eye, or a second thought, my cadet family had extended their arms out to help me to get back up. This selflessness is extremely difficult to come across.”
All the stories shared throughout the evening showed how much the Cadet Program has impacted their lives positively. Cadet Corporal Jeremiah Serrato echoes the same message:
“ I have found a group of amazing people that have the same mindset that I have, and that is setting an example as a leader in the community, helping, and motivating others. I began to find myself making positive choices. I’m so grateful to wear a uniform that empowers me and be associated with such a stellar group”
On May 13th, 2017, members of the first class graduated from the VPD Cadet Program. In addition, 93 young men and women will be completing Class Three.
A special thank you to Constable Barb Bates and Constable Dave Jakeaway for all their support and mentorship to this fine group of future young leaders. Congratulations!