On Sunday, 24 of our Bedfordshire Police Cadets will attend their Passing out Parade, which marks the end of their training and time with the Cadets. Katrice Russell is currently Deputy Head Cadet and Drill Sergeant for our Luton Cadet units. This year she has completed the most number of duty hours for current second year Cadets. She tells us about her time as a Cadet shortly before she leaves to go to university.
As Cadets, we get involved in lots of different things. I’ve helped out at local carnivals, helped with parking duties at various events and helped with different duties in the community. We also took part in Bedfordshire’s Youth United open day where all the youth groups across Bedfordshire – including the Police, Air and Sea Cadets – got together and got the chance to talk to the public about our work.
My favourite thing though was helping out at an open day at Luton Police Station. We took part in a briefing at the beginning which is similar to how real police officers start their shifts if they are going to be part of an event or an operation. It all felt very official as it was run by the force, and gave a real insight into what it’s like to work as a police officer.
I was shocked when I found out I’d completed the most number of duty hours for current second year Cadets because I didn’t think it would be me. But I also feel really proud of myself as it shows that I didn’t just come in and do the bare minimum, but I made the most of every opportunity.
When I came in for my interview to join, I was asked about my strengths and weaknesses. I remember saying that my weakness was being short tempered. That’s definitely changed since I’ve been a Cadet – you learn discipline and self-control, and I think that is an important quality whatever you are doing in life.
It’s been an honour to be Deputy Head Cadet and I will be sad to leave, because I would love to see all the Cadets I have been training progress in their roles. But even though I’m heading off to university in September, I hope to become a Cadet Instructor with my local force when I get there.
I’m going to study criminology, and I think being a Cadet helped me decide this is what I wanted to do. It’s been a great experience, and I would do it all again if I could.
If you’re aged 16-18 and want to make a difference in your community, why not join Bedfordshire’s Police Cadets? Recruitment opens on 9 January. For more information, visit the Cadet pages on our website.