Youth Cadets

Mission Stat​ement:

The Mission of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Youth Cadet Program is to promote a constructive relationship between law enforcement, the youth of the community, and citizens who live in the community.

​The Youth Cadet Program is designed to develop youth into responsible and mature  adults and community leaders.


The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office offers a program for young and emerging adults to explore the field of law enforcement and corrections.  The program is designed for high school​​ ​and college students as a first introduction to the career fields.  Youth Cadets participate in various functions of the Sheriff's Office, including patrol ride-alongs, crime prevention fairs, and other public appearances.  Many members of the Sheriff's Office have started their careers in similar programs.  This program is available for youths who have interest in any of the Criminal Justice or Science fields.  Meetings are held twice a month on alternating Thursday evenings.  Meetings are three (3) hours in length and attendance is required.

Many opportunities are available to Youth Cadets.  Youth Cadets will be able to observe what goes on in a law enforcement and corrections environment while building character, promoting good citizenship, and enhancing mental and physical fitness.  Youth Cadets can choose to work as decoys alongside undercover deputies in alcohol and tobacco sting operations.  Youth Cadets participate in guided tours of various facilities related to the criminal justice system such as patrol headquarters, jail facilities, and courthouses.  


  • 15 - 21 years of age.
  • Must not have extensive/serious criminal history.
  • Must be enrolled in high school if under 18 years of age and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average.
  • Must be in good physical condition.
  • Must be able to commit to a minimum of 8 hours of volunteer service per month.
  • Must be able to commit to a three (3) week Summer Law Enforcement Explorer Academy.


Youth Cadets receive training on law enforcement and corrections related topics during the regular meetings in addition to other training opportunities such as the three (3) week Summer Law Enforcement Explorer Academy where they will receive extensive training that will assist them in their duties and cultivate their interest in the career field.  This academy will also further the Youth Cadets knowledge and experience in the law enforcement and corrections fields.  Youth Cadets attending this academy will receive college credits.  The Youth Cadet training consists of First Aid/CPR, police patrol ​procedures, officer safety, communications, law enforcement powers and responsibilities, and much more.​

​Contact the Reserve Unit at

(408) 808-4570 for further information

or to apply​

​​​​​Additional Career Opportunities

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