Cadets mark Essex Police’s 175th birthday with passing out parade
Fourteen young Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) became the pride of Essex on Saturday 19 September, during a ceremony to mark the completion of their training.
Coinciding with Essex Police’s 175th birthday celebrations at Chelmsford Headquarters, the first cohort of the Chelmsford and Maldon Cadets were presented by their Cadet Leaders to Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh for inspection.
The youngsters, all aged between 13 to 18 years old, marched in front of a crowd of family and friends, as well as guests including Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Vincent Thompson, the High Sheriff of Essex, , and the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Paul Hutchinson.
Nick Alston said: “I was delighted to present certificates to Essex’s first ever Volunteer Police cadets at their passing out ceremony on Saturday, and formally welcome them into the policing family. Engaging with young people is critical if we are to safeguard future generations in the county. The Volunteer Police Cadet programme is one of the best examples of how the police service, and community safety partners can do this, working with young people – often those who have faced a wide range of challenges – to help them grow into confident, active citizens who are willing to commit to their local community.
“I, along with the Chief Constable, have been active in supporting the creation of a VPC programme in Essex, and it was hugely rewarding to see months of hard work and dedication by Essex Police staff, volunteers and partners come to fruition. I look forward to continuing to support the programme and watching it flourish, which I’m sure it will.”
Mr Alston presented each cadet with a certificate to commemorate their achievements. The ceremony follows an intensive 12-week induction programme which covered a wide variety of policing related subjects, as well as representing Essex Police at events and community initiatives. The volunteer police cadet scheme began in April this year, six years after the force’s previous cadet scheme ended.
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Tom Gower, Cadet Leader of the unit, said: “I am incredibly proud of our Cadets, who have and will continue to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism in their communities. The vision of the Cadet Leader team was to make our Cadets aware of the opportunities that are available to them, urging them to seize these when they can for learning, development and life skills. It is fantastic to have introduced these young people to the policing family”.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “It is wonderful to see you all standing here today from when I met you all12 weeks ago, and you deserve to enjoy this moment. Thank you to the cadet leaders, officers, volunteers and families for your support and for making this happen. It is certainly not the end of your journey, but it is just the beginning.. Enjoy your time with us, learn keep learning and developing and bring these skills forward in your communities”.
Ed Sherry, Programme Director for the Volunteer Police Cadets Scheme nationwide, attended the ceremony and said: “It’s fantastic that Essex Police have got their first Cadet Unit up and running, and the plans that they have for even more cadets involved with the police over the coming years. We at the VPC will do all we can to support Essex Police in making their cadet programme the best it can possibly be, and to reach out to as many young people within their communities as we can”.
Two new Cadet Units in Southend and Epping are due to open its doors to their first intakes next week, and the Chelmsford and Maldon Unit are looking forward to accepting their second group of Cadets this month.