Megan Matthews trains in the Career Cadets program
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From Arizona to Sioux Falls, dispatcher becomes police officer through new cadet program

  • June 28, 2024

Despite serving as a 911 dispatcher, Megan Matthews’ own family was living in what she considered one of the most dangerous communities in Arizona.

Then she moved to Sioux Falls three years ago.

“We were looking for something more family-friendly, and South Dakota is beautiful, good laws, good communities, and we picked South Dakota,” she said.

Then she decided to pursue a career on the other end of the emergency calls.

Megan Matthews trains in the Career Cadets program

“It’s the biggest police department in the state, so you would expect it to feel like a big department, but it doesn’t,” she said. “Everybody is super-friendly, everybody is super-helpful, everybody knows each other.”

From her first training, Matthews has felt the community’s support too. She’s one of the first members of the new Career Cadets program, a partnership of Southeast Technical College, the city of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation/Forward Sioux Falls.

“It’s really a collaboration, a partnership and a true testament to what a community needs to do in order to look at a problem and come up with solutions,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Megan Matthews trains in the Career Cadets program

The immersive Sioux Falls Police Department Career Cadets program blends a part-time job in the department with relevant education at Southeast Tech and mentorship.

“You just learn so much,” Matthews said.

Now, she’s ready to graduate. To learn more about the program and her path forward, click below.

Sioux Falls Police Department’s Career Cadet Program