NEVADA, Mo. — Three cadets were sworn in Friday at a local police department through the help of an incentive package.

Like many police departments in the country, Nevada has also struggled with a lack of new officers. The Nevada Police Department says the cost to go to a law enforcement academy is increasing.

“Staffing has been problematic here, along with every single department, you know, around this general area,” said Joshua Westerholde, Assistant Chief Of Nevada Police Department.

In an effort to help bring in new officers, the City of Nevada paid for the cadet’s education as part of an incentive package.

“That’s the main reason why we implemented this program to help our department,” he continued.

The police department says this program is impactful because it encourages those looking to be an officer to serve their own communities.

“This program is going to be designed to bring people from our community or close, surrounding communities to this department, to want to stay here long-term, and give us more experience. Basically, our, I guess, opportunity to them was to pay for that and you know, have people locally in our community want to be police officers and help them by getting that education and that training. So they can come here and work here and stay in this community as well,” Westerholde said.

All three cadets are either from Nevada or grew up close to the city.

“I grew up here, so this is where I really wanted to be, as an officer, um, and it worked out best for me,” said Christian Richter, Nevada Police Officer.

“I grew up here. We moved here in second grade, I’ve been here ever since and everything. I kind of know the ins and outs of the town, and I’m happy to be working here. I kind of feel expectations are on me a little higher, and everything, since I grew up here and everything like that,” said Franklin Miller, Nevada Police Officer.

These cadets just finished their training at Missouri Southern’s Law Enforcement Academy, and graduated Thursday evening.

“It was real, everything got real at that point,” said David Moenning, Nevada Police Officer.

“Super excited to get started. This is something I’ve wanted my whole life, so this is awesome,” said Richter.

The three cadets, who are now officers, are the first graduates of the program to work in Nevada and will start next week