HSI Cadet Academy
Each year, partnering hospitals or care facilities announce to their patients about the opportunity to participate in the Cadet Academy. The hospital or care facility then selects the participants for the program. Hospitals and care facilities that are interested in partnering with HSI are kindly asked to send an email to the HSIPOCCADETPROGRAM@ice.dhs.gov mailbox.
The inaugural program was piloted by HSI Headquarters (HQ) in partnership with the Medstar Georgetown University Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2013, to create a learning environment for teenagers and young adults in chronic treatment programs to educate them on HSI's programmatic areas and initiatives. Eight cadets were chosen for the three-month pilot and were offered several two-hour interactive overviews presented by subject matter experts from HSI's 1811 Programs Section, the HSI Forensics Laboratory, National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center and the National Gang Unit. The cadets were educated about transnational gangs, intellectual property rights, forensic document analysis and narcotics and contraband smuggling.
Throughout the classroom instruction, HSI instructors guided the students through a mock investigation. Additionally, HSI partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to further enhance the mock investigation by providing the cadets and their families a tour of the Port of Baltimore and inspecting a shipping container with smuggled "narcotics" concealed inside.
The students wrapped up their investigation at the field day exercise at the CBP Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where members of the HSI DC Special Response Team trained the cadets on search warrant execution and vehicle assault tactics. The field day culminated with the cadets performing a high-risk vehicle assault and arrest of the “bad guy.” The top cadet was presented with the Edward J. Smith Award. This award was given in honor of Mr. Smith, an HSI special agent who passed away from cancer. The inaugural Cadet Academy class concluded with a graduation ceremony at HSI HQ on August 13, 2013, for the cadets and their families.
The Cadet Academy expanded to HSI Philadelphia in 2016, partnering with Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Children's Hospital in nearby Wilmington, DE. HSI HQ added Inova Children's Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia as a partner in 2017.
HSI has successfully implemented six iterations of the program since 2013, with 44 cadet graduates from the Washington metropolitan area and 31 cadet graduates from the Philadelphia metropolitan area for an overall total of 75 cadet graduates.
The 7th Annual Cadet Academy is scheduled to occur the week of July 15, 2019 followed by the Field Day on Aug. 3, 2019. HSI HQ will be partnering with both Medstar Georgetown and Inova Children's Hospitals. HSI Philadelphia will again partner with the Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Children's Hospital.