Public Safety Cadet Program

If you are interested in a career as a Denver police officer, firefighter or deputy sheriff, the Denver Public Safety Cadet Program is a great opportunity to consider. The Cadet Program’s mission is to develop structured, educated and diverse candidates who are team-oriented, physically fit and prepared to serve the Denver community.

Those who are accepted into the Cadet Program work part-time in Denver’s Public Safety agencies while attending college full-time. Cadets are currently compensated $15 per hour (up to 35 hours per week). Beginning January 1, 2022, the pay for Cadets will increase to $15.87 per hour. Cadets also receive paid in-state tuition and books at the Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) or the University of Colorado Denver (UCD).

Applications for the Public Safety Cadet Program are accepted annually during the month of December.

About the Program

Program Details

The Denver Public Safety Cadet Program is a specialized training and education program designed to help strengthen and diversify the future workforce of the Denver Police, Fire and Sheriff Departments. Successful applicants are typically recent high school graduates or those with less than two years of completed college credit.

Cadets receive assignments every six months and can be found working in all of Denver’s safety agencies and departments. They also participate in department and community events. On average, cadets work three days per week and attend school two days per week. Cadets are sometimes required to work nights, weekends or holidays.

Every cadet will participate in a monthly training that teaches skills essential to pursuing a career in public safety. Some of the trainings include self- defense tactics, radio communications, firearms training, defensive driving and conflict resolution. Cadets will also have the opportunity to participate in annual mini academies for Denver Fire, Denver Police and Denver Sheriff Departments. These are longer training sessions that incorporate all aspects of the jobs and expose cadets to how the safety academy classes are conducted.

Cadets will participate in fitness training and other functional fitness techniques frequently used in public safety careers. Maintaining a high level of fitness prepares cadets for the physical demands and expectations of the public safety training academies.

Cadets can also take advantage of advanced safety and emergency medical technique training.



  • High school diploma or GED
  • Colorado residency and the ability to qualify for in-state tuition at MSU or UCD
  • Ability to meet strict background standards (criminal history, drug use, driving record)
  • Ability to be admitted as a student to UCD or MSU
  • No more than 60 college credit hours completed at the close of the application process
  • Acceptance into the Cadet Program is highly competitive. Beyond meeting the minimum qualifications, an emphasis is placed on applications that can demonstrate a strong academic record of achievement and community service. Professional certifications and bi-lingual skills are a plus.

How to Apply

The next Cadet Program application period is Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2021. On December 1, 2021, applicants will be able to access the job application via the Denver jobs webpage at

All completed applications must include:

• Resume
• High school and/or college transcripts 
• Two letters of recommendation
• Three professional references

Once all the applications are reviewed and evaluated, selected applicants will be offered an interview.

This program is highly competitive and not everyone who applies will be offered an interview. All applications are thoroughly reviewed for completeness (including required attachments) and evaluated based on academic achievement and community service. Professional certifications and bi-lingual skills are a plus, but not a requirement. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants selected after the interview process will receive a conditional offer, subject to a comprehensive background investigation that will include a personality assessment, drug testing and medical evaluation.

Program Requirements

The Public Safety Cadet Program runs like a paramilitary organization and cadets are held to the highest standard in terms of academics, fitness and appearance. The Cadet Program Manager oversees the administrative, policy and procedural duties of the program on behalf of the Executive Director of Public Safety.

Cadets may be classified as Senior Cadet Leader, Cadet Leader or Cadet. Opportunities exist to lead special training or functional groups within the program to help build leadership and decision-making skills.

Upon being accepted into the program, all cadets must have or obtain a valid Colorado driver's license

Academic Requirements:
• Take courses during the fall and spring semesters
• Take a minimum of 10 credit hours each semester
• Maintain a GPA of 2.5

While cadets may declare any major, they must take courses that work toward completion of their degree. Cadets receive special recognition for obtaining GPAs above 3.5 during any academic semester.

Fitness Requirements:
Cadets are evaluated quarterly with a fitness test that includes push-ups, sit ups and a timed 1.5 mile run. Fitness opportunities are built into the program to ensure all cadets can maintain the requirements and all participants are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Cadets wear uniforms and inspections are performed on a regular basis. It is expected that cadets always look their best with a pressed and clean uniform


Public Safety Cadets are currently compensated $15 per hour (up to 35 hours per week). Beginning January 1, 2022 the pay for cadets will increase to $15.87 per hour. Cadets also receive paid in-state tuition and books at The Metropolitan State University (MSU) or the University of Colorado Denver (UCD).

Public Safety Cadets are classified as on-call training positions not eligible for benefits.



There are hundreds of former cadets currently employed by City and County of Denver, working for Denver Police, Denver Fire, Denver Sheriffs, Denver 9-1-1, Public Works and the Denver District Attorney’s office.

Many former cadets have distinguished themselves as leaders, contributing to the good of the communities where they serve.