Cadet Kien is helping to shape future of policing

Teenager Kien Kirk has always had a passion for policing and when he leaves school he wants to become a police officer. 

But until he’s able to apply to join us as a student officer, he’s getting some experience of the job as one of our cadets.

Kien Kirk

Kien said; “I applied for the Cadets 18 months ago, when I was 15. I was able to join some proper sessions to start with but then it all moved online due to coronavirus.

“Before lockdown, I’d taken part in memorial events for Remembrance Sunday which made me feel very proud.

“We’d also taken part in operations with regular officers, like patrols of the German market in Birmingham and being part of security operations. I’ve also joined a team of covert officers to experience what they do and a local policing team during a knife sweep.”

Kien at Remembrance Parade
Kien taking part in a memorial event for Remembrance Sunday,

And some of the things he’d learned in cadets meant he was able to act quickly when he saw a man armed with knives at a petrol station. He was later honoured with NPU Commander’s Award.

He said: “I called 999. I was able to use skills I’d learned as a cadet, to give clear details and keep them simple. I did this and officers were able to act quickly to apprehend the man.”

Being in the cadets also means Kien, who goes to Cardinal Newman Sixth Form in Coventry, is helping to shape the future of policing across the West Midlands.

Kien receiving an award from Mike O'Hara
Kien has been honoured with an NPU Commander’s Award

He has been elected as a Youth Commissioner working with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and sits on a funding scrutiny panel. He’s also on the WMP Cadets Governance Board which meets bi-monthly to discuss the future of cadets and ways to improve the scheme with ACC Mark Payne, members of the Citizens in Policing Team and representatives from other departments. 

In addition, he sits on the Cadets Voice Panel, which is made up two cadets from each unit who help plan future meetings. As part of this, he’s represented WMP at a national youth event at Lloyd House.

Kien said “Being a cadet just gives me loads of experiences that I wouldn’t normally get as a teenager. It provides a fantastic insight into policing.”

Our cadet scheme recruits 13-17 year olds from across the West Midlands.

As part of a national curriculum, it gives them the chance to:

  • learn about policing, including visits to departments
  • learn new skills and to help others
  • volunteer in the community
  • be part of events such as Pride or Remembrance Day

Our cadets are able to access these opportunities because volunteer Cadet Leaders give their time to support young people to thrive. If you’d like to be a positive role model for young people in your area, find out more about becoming a Volunteer Cadet Leader by visiting our website.

We currently have cadet 15 units, which meet once a week, with four more opening soon. To find out more about cadets click here.

For more information about becoming a cadet leader or cadet you can also email the team.

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