SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – August 18, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – Salt Lake Honorary Colonels and Salt Lake County Sheriff James Winder presented four scholarship checks to Unified Police Department Youth Cadets this afternoon.
For 31 years the community based Salt Lake Honorary Colonels have provided economic support to the Salt Lake County Office of the Sheriff in a variety of helpful ways with the most recent being the creation of a mentoring program and a scholarship fund for Unified Police Department (UPD) youth cadets.
The UPD created a youth cadet mentoring program in 2011 where members of the community who are between the ages of 16 and 21 years of age, and have an interest in law enforcement, can apply to participate in the program. The cadets get training in law enforcement practices and are mentored by community members, or an assigned officer.
Once these cadets are trained, they assist the UPD in managing public events such as parades, Night Out Against Crime events, etc.
UPD said in a press release: “This year the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels funded scholarships for four youth cadets to help them cover the cost of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), or higher education. The cadets had to participate in law enforcement trainings, the mentoring program, and go through an interview process before being selected to receive the scholarships.”
Sheriff Winder said at the event that there are 35 individuals in the cadet program from which they selected four to receive up to $5,000. He said the Honorary Colonels have given out more than $60,000 in scholarship money in total.
“This gives us an opportunity to interact with some wonderful young people, you can become insulated and you need to engage with people not only in negative contexts but in very positive ways, that give and take affects both sides,” Winder said.
“This program has definitely affected our agency for the better. We looked for a willingness, a dedication and a sound commitment. Young people are developing all the time, it’s a difficult time of life, so we are looking for people to commit that extra bit of time, and to participate in an open way. I hope that one day they become mentors, this is all about giving back.”
One of the cadets, Victoria Munoz, said: “I am the first in my family to receive this scholarship so I’m very proud. I am passionate about public service and feel it’s important to serve my community. I feel very grateful, and I am going to do my best to make them proud.”
Another, Blake Dalaimi, said: “I’m elated, and feel honored and blessed. I want to serve my community, growing up I’ve always had a love for serving others. No matter where you come from there are programs like this.”
A third cadet, Marcos Gonzalez, said he also feels honored. “It’s the career path I’ve found that I’ve been searching for. When you do law enforcement, you do something different every day, and serve the community every day, there’s a purpose and it’s powerful, what you do.”