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Utah high school senior joins police cadet program

Posted at 12:17 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 14:25:07-04

HOLLADAY, Utah — It is extremely difficult for police departments in Utah and across the country to attract new officers. It’s especially challenging getting younger people to choose a career in law enforcement.
But, that’s not the case for one local, high school senior.

Tyler Woods is a senior at Olympus High and she’s a Sgt. with the Unified PD high school cadet program.
It was taking an elective class as a freshman that now has her on the road to becoming a police officer.

To say Tyler Woods is fired up about her future would be an understatement.

READ: Homicides spike sharply in Utah, hitting 20-year high

“I’m really excited to be a member of the police department eventually," said Sgt. Tyler Woods, Olympus High School Sr. & UPD HS Cadet.

She now has a scholarship offer to study criminology at Arizona State University and it all started when she was a freshman and met school resource officer Jaime Cardenas.

“It’s called Cop Club and we’re able to reach out to ninth graders and show them a little bit about what police officers do," said Ofc. Jaime Cardenas, UPD & School Resource Officer for Olympus HS.

After volunteering to wear the protective suit and get bitten by the police K9, Tyler was hooked.

“And I was like; ‘Wow, this is so cool!” said Tyler. “As a cadet I’ve gotten to see kind of the inner workings of being a police officer and they do so many things that go completely unnoticed and they are so involved with the community.”

That is extremely refreshing to hear for veteran cops like Officer Cardenas.

“15 or 20 years ago, we used to have 1000 people show up for the testing. Now it’s nowhere near that and we’re struggling, just like everyone else is, to fill our open spots," said Ofc. Jaime Cardenas.

Tyler hopes to fill one of those open spots in the not too distant future.

“I mean I’d totally recommend it, I mean joining the cadet program is probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself," said Tyler.

And if all goes according to the current plan, Tyler says one day she really wants to be a special victims unit detective.