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Turlock cadet finds path to police badge
Prado pic
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Jose Prado’s dream is to fight crime. The Turlock High senior is already dedicated to his future career path and can’t wait move on to the next step.

Since he was in third grade, wearing a badge has been an overall goal for Prado. It all started when he watched police officers being portrayed on television. Since then, he knew that he had to be a police officer some day.

He started working toward his dream career at the age of 15 by participating in the Atwater Police Department Cadet Program. He has been there for three years now working his way into the Senior Cadet Program this year.

Prado will be graduating from Turlock High on May 28 and starting Merced College in the fall.

He plans to major in criminal justice and will get a head start on preparing for the Police Academy after he finishes his associate’s degree.

Through the criminal justice program offered at Merced College, students can accomplish the first two of three modules of the Modular Police Academy. With this Prado can work his way up and learn things he would typically learn in the Police Academy to better prepare himself for a career in law enforcement.

Prado is hoping by the time he works his way up through the modules, he can seek sponsorship to put him through the Police Academy.

His dream job is to work for the Atwater Police Department. He will be the first one in his family to go into law enforcement.  

“I’m looking forward to driving the white units,” Prado said. “I am excited to help people out and solve problems.”

One of his most memorable experiences as a cadet was when he responded to a three-car collision. He remembers this incident the most because instead of sitting in the car or helping with the typical paper work, he got to go onto the scene and assist one of the injured civilians in the accident. He helped keep one of the victims from moving to prevent them from obtaining further injuries.

His experience in the cadet program has led him to experience the good and the bad about the duties of a police officer and he can’t wait to one day put on his very own police badge.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.