It was inspection time for graduates of the Summer Youth Police Cadet Academy back in the summer of 2013. The program may get a financial boost Tuesday night, pending a vote of the City Council to transfer funds from an unused teen center account to the program.

It was inspection time for graduates of the Summer Youth Police Cadet Academy back in the summer of 2013. The program may get a financial boost Tuesday night, pending a vote of the City Council to transfer funds from an unused teen center account to the program.

SANFORD — Money in an account set up to hold donations for a teen center almost 20 years ago may soon be released to benefit the youth police cadet program, if the City Council approves the measure on… Tuesday.

About $7,164 was raised through a variety of fundraisers starting 18 years ago, said Marge Trowbridge, one of the founding members of the Teen Center Committee. Trowbridge on Monday recalled the group held car washes and raffles and a number of fundraisers, in a bid to raise cash for a teen center. As the years passed, the quest for a center dimmed. Recently, Trowbridge said she consulted with a remaining fellow committee member Catherine Dudley, for her input on what to do with the funds, which are held by the city in a special account.

The women agreed the Sanford Police Department’s youth cadet program would be a good use of the funds.

“We felt they’re the most worthy and deserving of it,” said Trowbridge.

Founded in 2009, the cadet program is designed to build leadership skills, develop self-discipline, engage young people in community service, strengthen self-esteem and increase physical fitness.

Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly said the program has traditionally been funded by small donations from generous sponsors as well as Police Department operational funds. The money, if approved by the council, will go towards educational programs, uniforms and the like.

In 2014, 40 students from Sanford and the Massabesic school district took part in the summer cadet program. The cadet program also operates throughout the school year.

“These new funds will allow us to engage in more educational and recreational opportunities for the cadets,” said Connolly. He pointed out that a bus trip to Boston to visit museums and historic sites can cost upwards of $600.

“Many of these children have never traveled outside of the greater Sanford area. Something as simple as a bus trip to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail can be a tremendous experience,” he said.

Connolly pointed out the uniforms also cost more than $75 per student.

Occasionally, the cadets do something both educational and fun, Connolly said, and pointed out a recent trip to the Bog Brook National Guard facility where they had hands-on learning in land navigation, use of night vision gear, paint ball, an obstacle course, and team building with the Army National Guard.

Connolly also gave kudos to cadet leaders, officers Mike Thornton and Mike Gordon, who are school resource officers during the school year.

“These youngsters run, exercise, attend classes, volunteer their time, and follow orders just because ‘the Mikes ask’ them to do so. And the kids love it,” said Connolly. “I am very proud of the cadet program.”

He said the funds will help to keep the program running, and in so doing provide positive role models for youth.

In a memo to the council, City Manager Steve Buck said the transfer of the funds from the Teen Center Committee to the cadet program had the unanimous support of the property subcommittee. The City Council must formally sign off on the proposal.

The cadet program, Trowbridge said, “has turned a lot of kids around.”

“I am so happy its going for a good cause,” she said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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