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Exploring Police Explorer Programs

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 51 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2003 Pages: 116,118,119
Lauren Bamberger
Date Published
June 2003
3 pages
This article presents an overview of the Police Explorer Program, which provides an opportunity for youth to explore police work.
An outgrowth of the Boy Scouts of America and Learning For Life, the Explorer Program is open to boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 21. The program is designed to educate youth about police work whether or not they want to pursue a law enforcement career. Some local programs have an Explorer Academy, which adapts the curriculum of a real police academy to the Explorer youth. Courses provided may be the history of law enforcement, contemporary law enforcement, juvenile law and protection, criminal law, criminal investigation, narcotics, criminalistics and forensics, and communication. Explorer cadets' duties will vary from program to program, but for the most part explorers perform a wide variety of community service and volunteer duties within the department. Many provide extra help for large gatherings such as fairs and festivals, as well as in traffic control details. They also assist in clerical duties related to police records and report writing. Explorer cadets may participate in dispatching centers and patrol ride-a-longs. Some departments involve Explorers in searches for missing children, finding evidence in major crimes, and assisting at disaster scenes. Some are even used as undercover agents in under-age alcohol and tobacco sting operations. Some Explorer cadets have gone on to be hired into the departments they served as an Explorer and become officer advisors in the programs where they once served as cadets. Specific local Explorer programs are briefly described.