Cadet Program


The application for the ACPD Cadet Program is OPEN!

The Cadet Program is a unique and valuable opportunity offered by the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD). It serves as a stepping stone towards a fulfilling career as an officer within our department. This program is designed to provide individuals with a flexible part-time job while they work toward their college degree.

The primary mission of the Arlington County Police Department’s Cadet Program is to equip future applicants with comprehensive, on-the-job training. This training is carefully crafted to better prepare individuals for the possibility of becoming sworn members of our department.

As a cadet, you will receive training, mentorship, and exposure to a wide range of law enforcement career opportunities. Your role as a cadet actively supports the police department's mission to effectively serve our community.

The program also encourages and supports cadets in transitioning from being a cadet to a police officer. Cadets have the opportunity to apply to become ACPD police officers once they've earned a minimum of 30 college credits, completed two semesters as a cadet, and received a positive recommendation from the cadet coordinator.

ACPD is deeply committed to equipping our cadets with the knowledge and skills needed to protect and serve our community. This commitment is rooted in fostering a culture of excellence, leadership, and integrity. The Cadet Program is your gateway to a meaningful and impactful career in law enforcement.

Start Your Application

Contact the Cadet Coordinator


What will I do as a cadet?

As a cadet, you'll have a diverse role that covers various aspects of law enforcement. Here's an overview of what you can expect:

Training: You'll receive comprehensive training in law enforcement topics, including advanced first aid, communication skills, community engagement, investigations, and more. This training equips you with valuable skills and knowledge for a future career in policing.

Mentorship: Experienced law enforcement officers will serve as your mentors, offering guidance and sharing their expertise. They'll help you navigate the challenges and demands of the field.

Community Engagement: Actively participate in community events, programs, and outreach initiatives. This allows you to interact with community members, support public safety efforts, and contribute to our agency's community-oriented approach.

Administrative Tasks: Assist with administrative duties within the department, such as record-keeping, data analysis, and report preparation. These tasks provide insights into the administrative side of law enforcement.

Physical Fitness: Emphasis is placed on physical fitness, and you'll participate in training and activities to meet necessary physical standards.

Professional Development: The program includes professional development opportunities like workshops, seminars, and access to resources that enhance personal and professional growth.

Teamwork: You'll collaborate with fellow cadets and law enforcement professionals, strengthening teamwork and communication skills.

Department Support: Cadets assist the department based on its needs and priorities, which may include public events, outreach, and contributing to ACPD's mission.

Throughout your cadet experience, you'll learn, grow, and gain insights into the diverse aspects of law enforcement. Your role as a cadet is an essential step in your journey to becoming a law enforcement officer and an opportunity to make a real impact on our community.

For more detailed information about specific activities and responsibilities, please contact the Community Engagement Division for further clarification.

What are the benefits of being an ACPD cadet?

Enrolling in the ACPD Cadet Program offers a host of compelling advantages. In addition to the exceptional training and hands-on experience provided, Cadets are compensated at a competitive hourly rate of $22.00 per hour.  Moreover, cadets have the opportunity to receive reimbursement for up to 9 college credits per semester, with the reimbursement amount being in line with the cost per credit at Northern Virginia Community College. It's important to note that while cadets have the flexibility to attend any higher institution, the reimbursement structure is tailored to the pricing of credits at Northern Virginia Community College. This dual benefit structure not only advances your career prospects but also supports your educational aspirations, making it a strategically rewarding endeavor.

Can I participate in the ACPD Cadet Program for college internship credit?

Yes, depending on your school’s requirements.

Am I eligible to be a cadet?

To be eligible for the Cadet Program, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Hold U.S. citizenship.
  3. Possess a high school diploma or GED.
  4. Have a valid driver's license or the capability to obtain one.
  5. Have no felony convictions or serious misdemeanors on your record.
  6. Refrain from using marijuana from the date of your application, irrespective of its legal status in states or countries where it may be permitted.

I am not enrolled in college; can I still apply?

Yes, candidates can apply for the Cadet Program even if they are not currently enrolled in college. However, to meet the eligibility criteria for employment, candidates must be actively enrolled in and taking at least 9 college credits at an accredited college or university during the fall and spring semesters. In other words, you're welcome to apply at any time, but appointment to the program will be contingent on maintaining enrollment with a minimum of 9 credits at a higher education institution and a 2.0 GPA.

What is the time commitment to be a cadet?

As a cadet, you will be expected to dedicate a maximum of 20 hours per week to the program. We understand that our cadets are college students, and our commitment is to provide scheduling flexibility that aligns with your academic obligations. You can remain in the Cadet Program for a period of up to three years, allowing you to seamlessly integrate your academic goals with the demands of the program. Our goal is to help you successfully balance your academic pursuits and the responsibilities of the Cadet Program.