Pleasanton Launches New Cadet Training Program to Bolster Local Law Enforcement


 By investing in local talent and providing a clear path to a career in law enforcement, the program hopes to bolster the department, ensuring it is fully staffed by dedicated, well-trained officers who are deeply connected to the community they serve.

The City of Pleasanton recently graduated its first round of police cadets through the new cadet training program launched earlier this year. The first two graduates of the program, Roman Cuevas and Marco Garcia, were pinned on Tuesday, March 5th in a ceremony alongside 30 other academy graduates in Schertz, Texas. The new cadet recruiting program launched by the city aims to address the critical staffing shortages faced by law enforcement agencies nationwide. This pioneering initiative reflects Pleasanton’s commitment to our local police force, as well as community safety and proactive problem-solving.

The decision to launch the cadet program came after city officials noted the success of similar initiatives in boosting law enforcement staffing in communities across the country. Recognizing the potential benefits for Pleasanton, the City Council approved the program, ensuring it received the necessary funding to move forward.

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Under this new program, cadets will have their academy training fully sponsored, alleviating the financial burden that often deters potential recruits. During their training period, cadets receive a reduced salary, ensuring they can commit to their studies and training without financial worry. This approach aims to make a career in law enforcement more accessible and appealing to a broader segment of the community.

The need for such a program has never been more important. The pool of applicants for law enforcement positions has dwindled significantly in recent years, making recruitment a challenging endeavor for police departments in rural communities. By offering a paid route to qualification, the City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Police Department hope to reverse this trend and inspire more individuals to consider careers in law enforcement.

A key component of the program's appeal is its focus on local recruitment. By targeting applicants from the Pleasanton area, the initiative not only addresses staffing shortages but also strengthens the bond between the police force and the community it serves. Local officers bring invaluable insights into the area's specific needs and dynamics, enhancing the department's effectiveness and fostering a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

The selection process for the program is rigorous, ensuring that only the most capable and committed candidates proceed to the academy. Local applicants undergo a battery of tests, including assessments of their reading, writing, and mathematical abilities, as well as physical fitness tests. In our testing, two candidates, Cuevas and Garcia, emerged as the top performers in these evaluations and were chosen to be the program's inaugural cadets.

The sponsored cadets recently completed their academy training, which is both comprehensive and demanding. Over the course of 6 to 7 months, the cadets underwent intense physical training and in-depth study of laws relevant to law enforcement. To move forward, it was necessary they meet strict physical fitness standards and pass a series of tests on legal knowledge, culminating in the state exam. This rigorous preparation ensures that graduates are fully equipped to meet the challenges of policing in today's complex social landscape.

By investing in local talent and providing a clear path to a career in law enforcement, the program’s goal is to bolster the department, ensuring it is fully staffed by dedicated, well-trained officers who are deeply connected to the community they serve. Pleasanton Police Chief, Ernest Guerra, added, “We constantly are dealing with critical incidents and high-risk operations. Having a fully staffed department leads to those operations being safer for our officers due to having the personnel to deal with those incidents.” Chief Guerra further stated that, thanks to the sponsorship program, the department has now achieved full staffing for the first time since he assumed the role of Chief of Police in September 2023. He went on to state his gratitude to the City of Pleasanton City Manager Johnny Huizar, Pleasanton Mayor and City Council for their support to this sponsorship program.

The City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Police Department is excited to have graduated our first round of cadets and is confident that the cadet training program will make a significant contribution to the local community and the police department. As the program moves forward, the City of Pleasanton looks forward to seeing the positive impact of its investment on public safety and community well-being.

New Pleasanton Police Cadets
Pictured: Pleasanton's newest cadets (L to R) Samantha Fernandez, Marco Garcia, and Roman Cuevas. Garcia and Cuevas were sponsored through Pleasanton's new cadet training program.