Portland Downtown Cadets reflect on 2022 season

PORTLAND, Me. — Portland Downtown annually facilitates its award-winning Downtown Cadet program in coordination with the City of Portland Police Department. Our team recently sat down with 2022 cadets Kit & Daemien to chat about their program experience and future plans in the force. Read the Q&A below to learn more about our 2022 cadets. 

Cadets are training for careers in law enforcement or the military, and the program gives them valuable hands-on experience in the field of community policing. The cadets are sworn in as constables with the City of Portland, and as part of their duties they:

  • Make neighborly visits to downtown businesses
  • Identify persons in need & offer assistance
  • Enforce local municipal ordinances
  • Meet & greet residents & tourists
  • Provide a friendly face to public safety in Portland

Meet the 2022 Cadets: 


Age: 22

Cadet Experience: Fourth Year

Future Plans: Canine Handler

Q: How was the 2022 season? 

A: My first year downtown was during COVID, so it was a lot of COVID, homeless encampments, & protests. This year, it’s so calm, it’s so laid back. 

Q: Do you feel like this experience is preparing you for your future career?

A: Definitely. Just the interactions with the community; getting to know “the regulars” on a first name basis, where they like to be. It’s really helpful to have all of that in the back of your mind. We really haven’t gotten into high-intensity situations, but just learning how to deescalate through conversation is huge, especially today.

Q: Looking back on the season, has there been one instance that really made this all worth it for you?

A: For me, every year I come back, I meet the new people, but I also see the regulars that I have seen year after year. Not that there is one in particular, because there have been a few, but when I started there were people who were on the streets, strung out, no job, no sense of direction whatsoever, and then, over the years, I keep checking in with them. I learn that this one got a job or that one has been talking with their social working about getting a house. Seeing them progress and being there to talk with them or help them get food or clothes, and watching them get back on their feet — it’s really cool. 


Age: 18

Cadet Experience: First year

Future Plans: Police Officer

Q: How was the 2022 season? 

A: It was better than what I expected. There were a lot of interactions with people — I like talking with people, so it definitely lets you do that. 

Q: Looking back on the season, has there been one instance that really made this all worth it for you?

A: Just meeting all of these people — I just love it. It makes it worth it. I love talking to people.