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Starting early: learning about careers in public safety and law enforcement

Posted at 3:41 PM, Nov 09, 2023
  • Video shows the Sturgeon Bay Cadets working through scenarios at their most recent meeting.
  • Young people ages 14-20 can join the cadets.
  • It is free to join the group and they meet twice a month.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

If you want a career in law enforcement, there's an opportunity to gain skills to get that career. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt, with a look at the efforts of one group in Sturgeon Bay.

"It's building your resume at an early age," said Shew.

Brandon Shew has been the lead adviser for the Sturgeon Bay cadets for seven years.

Young people between the ages of 14 and 20 can join and learn what it’s like to go through the police academy.

"We have the freedom to pretty much train in whatever topics we want. So, for example, today we're working on crime scene investigations. The week prior, we were working on responding to domestic disputes. We work on traffic stops, we've done OWI stops," said Shew.

Shew says many of his cadets have gone on to work in law enforcement, including working for the Door County Sheriff’s Office.

Some of his students are now his peers.

"I’ve actually got to respond to calls with him and it's kind of funny looking back and you know, he was in the cadet program and now we're peers, so it's pretty cool," said Shew.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Shew says enrollment numbers have been down. Right now, they have six students.

One of those cadets is Christopher Michiels, a high school sophomore who's been in the program for a year and a half.

"We focus on different things every time. We do repeat things to make sure that we understand it fully, but it varies on a wide variety of topics," explained Michiels.

Michiels says he would like a career in law enforcement.

The cadets meet twice a month where they discuss a variety of topics and go through scenarios.

They even have opportunities to show off their knowledge at competitions.

"In January of next year, there's a state conference and so all the local cadet and explorer programs throughout Wisconsin are going to meet down in the Dells and then do a full weekend of competition," said Shew.

Shew says joining the cadets is free and gives a head start to law enforcement and public safety careers.

"You're going to stand out you know, above people that didn't," said Shew.

If you're interested in learning more about the Sturgeon Bay Cadets, click here to visit their Facebook page.

Officer Shew can also be contacted at: