Officer Doug Soltwedel is often seen walking through the halls or even attending extra curricular activities managing the crowds. Beginning next school year, Soltwedel may be accompanied by some new faces.
These shadows will be the first members of Soltwedel’s Cadet Explorer program.
“I got the idea at the boys Sectional game at Crawford when I saw a couple kids with khaki pants and matching shirts walking with some of the officers. What really struck my attention was when I saw a little girl standing near an officer with ‘cadet’ on the back of her shirt,” said Soltwedel.
The girl turned to the officer to ask him a question about Soltwedel when he replied, “why don’t you ask him yourself?”
“Next thing I know, I feel someone tug on my pants and say ‘what’s your name?’ She took initiative after he gave her some motivation, and she came up to me prideful and confident,” said Soltwedel.
His hope is that through this program students are filled with a sense of confidence and leadership, much like the young girl.
“This program is really to help kids who may just need some guidance or a positive role model in their life and just to help them make it through with confidence,” said Soltwedel.
The program will be open from fifth grade all the way through high school seniors. Students will apply to be in the program and then will be selected by a committee. Twelve students will be welcomed into the program after the application process.
“We will go off of teacher recommendations on why they think they should be in the program, grades and some other discipline factors,” said Soltwedel.
Once a student is in the program, they will be shadowing Soltwedel and the other officers involved in the program. Students will accompany the officers to after school activities such as football games and other events.
“We may have them walk around, and if there are kids running around being unsafe, we may have them go talk to them and just overall show them how to approach people and accomplish a task,” said Soltwedel.
Soltwedel is very excited about the new program and can’t wait to get it up and running for next school year.
Story by Maggie Vincent