According to the Times Union, Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins announced a new initiative to encourage minorities and women to join his police department. The program is described as a paid internship that will introduce people as young as 18 years old to police work.

The Cadet Program is designed to recruit young minority adults and introduce them to police work. The objective of the program is to put officers back on the streets where they grew up. The program aims to increase trust between the communities and the officers who serve those communities.

Chief Hawkins noted that only 13% of the Albany Police Department is black and the community is 30% black. He hopes to attract African American men and women to adequately represent the population they serve. Hopefully, this strategy will resolve some of the race issues between the community, and the Albany Police Department.

Chief Hawkins said that he began his career in a similar program as a cadet and worked his way up to eventually become chief of the Albany Police Department. Throughout Chief Hawkins' career, he served several communities before becoming chief here in Albany. His presence as an African-American chief in the Albany Police Department should be encouraging for minorities interested in law enforcement.

Chief Hawkins acknowledges that it’s always difficult to attract young minorities to police work. He also acknowledged that the current environment that we live in makes it even harder to attract anyone to police work.

If you are a young person who is interested in making a difference in the world through law enforcement, this internship may be for you.

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