By Ed Mertz

LOS ANGELES (KNX 1070) — It’s a million dollar weekend for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Cadet program thanks to the Ray Charles Foundation.

“I’m not sure that I’ve seen or have experienced or I know of another grant of this nature,” Assistant LAPD Chief Earl Paysinger told KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz.

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Paysinger says the million-dollar grant from the late-singer’s foundation will be given over the next three years and provide opportunities for thousands of youngsters to take part in the Cadet program.

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“We teach leadership, life skills, a healthy dose of discipline. Many of the things that they do in school, it enhances that,” he added.

According to Paysinger, the foundation is partnering with the LAPD to expand the offerings of the program.

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The LAPD says more than 6,000 students have graduated from the academy.