Ottawa Police Department hires first Ottawa High School graduate of cadet program

By The Herald Staff
Audrey Hook, left, became the first Ottawa High School student to graduate from the Police Cadet Program and be hired by the Ottawa Police Department.

In 2014, the Ottawa Police Foundation launched the Police Cadet Program, which was an opportunity for Ottawa High School students to accelerate their learning and growth in the law, public safety and security curriculum pathway and to partner with the Ottawa Police Department.

Just as 2020 ended, Cadet Audrey Hook was hired by the Ottawa Police Department as the first cadet to graduate from this program.

Hook will be remembered as the pioneer of a new frontier that aims to build a strong connection between OHS and the community. Her hiring marks the beginning of a program to be outlined by numerous other projects as an attempt to bring the school and community closer and to ensure the success of OHS students.

When Hook first came to Ottawa High School, her aspirations were to become a lawyer. Over time, she became more partial to the enforcement aspect of law.

Candie Campbell, OHS teacher and overseer of the Law, Public Safety & Security Career Pathway, recalls the attitude Hook possessed that pushed her to accomplish this goal.

“She has always been a person of integrity, honor, and willing to assist whomever and whenever she can,” Campbell said. “She has taken every opportunity I have presented to students to gain additional experiences that the class cannot offer.”

Campbell said Hook, in the summer of 2019, was the first OHS student to attend the Kansas Highway Patrol Cadet Academy. She even worked as an intern for the OPD during her senior year at OHS before graduating in May 2020.

The Police Cadet Program is formally referred to as the Carol Duncan Police Cadet Academic Scholarship. Duncan donated funds for the program to be started in 2014.

The program allows graduates to be hired as full-time members of the police department after obtaining a college degree, which would be completely funded through a scholarship. This not only encourages respective students to earn a degree but also provides a secure job.