As in any profession, bad cops exist.
It’s a reality that Cpl. Bryan Coyle acknowledges and doesn’t shy away from in instructing the next potential generation of police officers.
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Coyle, an 18-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, runs the Police Explorer Cadet program, which takes young people from across the city and other areas and prepares them for a career in law enforcement. Their once-a-week training includes first aid and CPR, traffic and crowd control and even how to process a crime scene.
Perhaps less intriguing, but possibly most important, cadets receive ethics training on how to conduct themselves. Coyle said that training has intensified in the past year — appropriate considering the recent string of alleged misfits who have worn Philadelphia police badges.
“I just felt like they needed more because there’s something missing in this generation today [when it comes to] being responsible,” Coyle said. “Everybody wants to blame somebody else.”
The ethics training is still evolving to expose cadets to more diverse groups in terms of race, socioeconomic background and sexual orientation, Coyle said.
To illustrate the standard officials hope to set, recruits must go through background checks, a formal interview and have passing grades to be admitted into the program.
“We want to be the West Point of the police department,” Coyle said. “We want to get the very best who want to be here.”