Fairview Heights Police Acting-Chief, Chris Locke, along with Illinois State Police Commander, Timothy Tyler, are proud to announce the start of the fourth session of the Metro-east Cadets of Policing (MECOP). This highly successful program is for young men and women – ages 14 to 21, who are interested in learning more about a possible career in policing. This is an ongoing program where cadets may be involved for a number of years in the program, until they reach the maximum age of 21.

Cadets will be placed into a learning environment to help prepare them for careers on policing or public service. In addition to learning policing techniques, the Cadets will be exposed to training on ethics and integrity, leadership and teamwork, fitness, communications skills, and career preparedness.

In addition to learning about policing, the program will offer cadets opportunities for community service, fundraising, and fun activities including both educational field trips and recreational entertainment including camping, sporting events, and other outdoor activities.

The primary goals of MECOP are to: (1) serve as a tool to diversify police candidate recruitment in the area; (2) promote positive interactions and understanding between police and youth; (3) provide career development skills to cadets; (4) develop a sense of community and a dedication to service among young men and women; and (5) have fun!

The program is currently taking applications and will officially kick off the ten week academy on Saturday, January 5th, 2019.

Many police agencies in the Metro-east are actively involved, including the Fairview Heights Police, Illinois State Police, East St. Louis Police, Shiloh Police Department, Swansea Police Department, and Mascoutah Police Department. The program is also supported by a number of other organizations including the United States’ Attorney’s Office, the St. Clair County States’ Attorney (Brendan Kelly), the Boy Scouts of America, Lindenwood University, and the Law Enforcement Foundation of Illinois.

For questions or an application packet, please call Amber Hopkins at the Fairview Heights Police Department at (618) 489-2158 or email


1. Applicant must be at least 14 (or entering 9th grade) but under 21 years old;
2. Applicant must have no felony convictions or adjudications, and few other police contacts;
3. Applicant must be capable in good physical condition and capable of participating in the physical activities of basic training;
4. Applicant must be of good conduct and high moral character;
5. Applicant must not be a user of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs;
6. Applicant must not have tattoos on the neck, throat, face, head or on the arms below the bicep (all tattoos must be disclosed at time of application – no gang tattoos or offensive tattoos will be allowed anywhere on body);
7. No gauged ear piercings; no facial piercings other than ear piercings;
8. Applicant must remain enrolled as a student in high school or college;
9. Applicant must be a resident of St. Clair County (exceptions considered);
10. Applicant must participate willingly in the program.

• Applicants will undergo a background investigation, a personal interview, and an orientation session before acceptance into the basic recruit training program


1. Must successfully complete basic recruit training program;
a. Minimum 80% attendance of all basic training hours;
b. Any absences must be excused absences;
c. Must successfully pass basic recruit exit exam;
d. Must successfully demonstrate a passing level of physical fitness or a level of improvement showing dedication.
2. Must remain a full time student if in high school. If out of high school, must attend college at least part time.
3. Must maintain a “C” grade point average.
4. Must remain of good conduct and high moral standards.
5. Must maintain established grooming and hygiene standards.
6. Must maintain active participation in the program.