Moorpark College’s cadet program offers experience in law enforcement


Police Cadet Spencer Neveaux speaks over his walkie talkie on his way to the parking lot. Photo credit: Jon Suarez

By Jon Suarez

Moorpark College offers the Police Cadet Program to those interested in jump staring their careers in law enforcement.

Here, students are able to gain hands on experience and broaden their horizon in the field while working under actual officers and lieutenants, according to Cadet Emily Walgren.

“We get to work around officers all day, and we get to shadow them,” said Walgren, a criminal justice major.

Once a student is finished with schooling, and is still interested in a law enforcement career, he or she may apply to any department, including the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant Police Chief Captain James Fryhoff helped put into perspective what is required by students interested in pursuing a job there.

“We are looking for somebody who’s reliable, somebody who’s trustworthy, somebody who’s honest,” said Fryhoff. “And what we’re looking for is people from throughout the community…Because when we work in that community, we’re a representation of what that community has as a whole”.

Although the program has been around for about 5 years, Walgren said that many have scored a job in the field after being a cadet.

Character is not the only thing to consider. It is logical for students to think they would need a degree in Criminal Justice, but instead Fryhoff recommend that students get a degree in anything that interests them.

“We’re gonna teach you what we need to in the academy,” said Fryhoff.

The main reason for not majoring in criminal justice is because of the amount of officers who later in their careers change paths due to varying interest or injuries, said Fryhoff. By having a degree in a field of interest, an individual has the liberty of seeking out jobs not limited to Criminal Justice. A major in Communications, Business, or even Medicine are all broad establishments for students to seek out jobs in various fields.

Once finished with school at the Police Academy, Fryhoff said there are many fields of work a future Sheriff could pursue. An officer is assigned to work at a jail for 7 years where he or she can request to be transferred to work at a court, transportation bureau, or a hall of justice.

After these initial 7 years, one can explore more options such as detective work, special enforcement, bicycle patrol, motorcycle traffic enforcement, or the helicopter unit.

“In my 25 years so far, the longest I’ve spent in any one assignment was 4 years,” said Fryhoff.

Risks and dangers must be acknowledged though, as being prepared to handle extreme situations effectively is essential to a successful and healthy career. Being a police officer means you earn a respectable and honorable title as keeper of the peace.

“I call this a tombstone job,” said Senior Deputy Edward Beauvais. “This is a job that you put on your tombstone.That pride of service that you get, I really like that.”

For more information regarding career advancement, visit the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department website at:

For information regarding cadet eligibility requirements follow here: