I-Team: Constable Cadets Graduate Despite Academy's Closure - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Constable Cadets Graduate Despite Academy's Closure

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LAS VEGAS -- It was a proud graduation day for a group of law enforcement cadets Thursday morning. A half-dozen cadets had nowhere to go after the Las Vegas constable's academy abruptly and controversially shut down. Clark County stepped up to take the cadets in.

The cadets range from a father of a one-month-old to a long-serving army sergeant looking to get into law enforcement. They paid for the Las Vegas Law Enforcement Academy, sponsored by the Las Vegas township constable's office, only to watch it fall apart. 

Clark County refused to abandon the cadets and got them to their graduation day. Nineteen cadets take the oath to become youth parole officers. It's a particularly proud day for six cadets. They first came to the I-Team this summer after the academy they were going to suddenly closed.

Jason Watkins ran that academy until he quit in August. He was the target of an internal investigation for alleged misconduct at a Las Vegas strip nightclub.

"We didn't know what was going to happen, honestly. We were stuck in limbo," said Edgar Salazar, a graduated cadet.

The cadets were out thousands of dollars with no certificate to show for their hundreds of hours of work.

"Those days of not knowing what was going to happen, or the false hope was kind of bad, but we finally got some positive notes," said Brian Anguiano, a graduated cadet.

Clark County stepped in and welcomed the constable cadets into the juvenile justice academy. Many cadets plan to join the Silver State Academy next month to upgrade their certificate and apply for work in any Nevada police force.

"What they did to them, the other academy was terrible, they had no reason to do that to them. They're the victims here. They spent their money, they thought they were getting into law enforcement and they got locked out and left out in the cold. We'll do everything we can to put them back on track," said Richard Henry, Silver State Academy.

"I know it will probably hit me later on today. I'll probably fall to my knees, hug my kids, just excited," said Robert Gonzalez, a graduated cadet.

The army reserve sergeant believes he is one step closer to working for a local police force. It's a goal he's had for the past 20 years.

"There's so many opportunities. Whoever opens up their doors to me, it will be a great blessing because I will give them 110 percent, no different than I gave the service to this nation. In the military, I give them 110 and I intend to do the same thing," Gonzalez said.

The constable's office says they are happy to hear the cadets they once sponsored graduated with another academy. The cadets who decided to drop out after the constable's academy fell apart were refunded by the county.

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