Monday, April 15, 2024

How To Be A Police Explorer

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Get The Right Police Education & Training

Pueblo kids learn what it’s like to be a police officer through PPD Explorer Program

There was a time when becoming a police officer was as simple as graduating high school or earning your GED, then attending a short training academy before diving into on-the-job training. And though those opportunities do still exist, especially in smaller departments, most departments have raised their standards of education to at least two years of post-secondary work. This means pursing an associate degree in law enforcement or a related field, such as criminal justice, criminology, or police science should be the first option to consider. The associate degree can then serve as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree, which then leads to graduate degree options.

However, other routes to the profession do exist. In addition to the on-the-job training after completing academy training, there is also the military option. Those who work as military police or in a similar capacity while serving their country can be perfectly suited to move into a police force after their military time is up. Lets take a look at the options.

Associate Degree in Law Enforcement

Bestfor? Those who want to stand outagainst the competition, or need a basic college degree to apply fora particular job opening.

Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement

Best for? Those who have the time and financial resources to earn a four-year degree, want to work in federal law enforcement, or anticipate future professional advancement.

Masters Degree in Law Enforcement

Military experience in lieu of a degree

Dont Lower Your Hiring Standards

As departments flex and change, loosen hiring standards, and spend more money on recruitment, take a second to reflect on what is actually happening. Why are we lowering the bar when we could be pushing our applicants to surpass the bar weve already set? Use the inexpensive resources already in place to invest in the next generation of officers. Explorers should be given special consideration in the hiring process.

The armed forces provide incentives for ROTC students just as law enforcement should for Explorers. Even Explorers who are not trained by your agency have the drive, the skills, and the desire to be a difference in the community. Just be sure to thank their former department for all their help. If your agency has an Explorer Post, underline the Explorer Program in your program’s book and get the word out.

Bring Explorers to career fairs and keep media contacts aware of the good that the Explorers are doing in the community. Encourage command staff and officers from all areas of the agency to engage and get to know the Explorers. They should be made to feel like they have a place in the department and that they are appreciated and valued. As they reach the end of Exploring tenure, make sure they get an application and a department pen to fill it out along with their certificate of participation.

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Greenfield Police Explorers Post 306

Greenfield, CA

Explorer POST 306 consists of over 15 young people who donate their time to help the local community and who want to learn about careers in law enforcement. They attend the Police Explorer Academy, in San Diego, CA and In-Service training. The raise money by working special events in our area, such as the races at Laguna Seca. The Police Explorers also help with local special events, such as the Day of the Field Worker, 4th of July, Harvest Festival, and more.

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Panama City Police Explorers

Panama City, FL

The Panama City Police Explorers started in 1994. The Explorers receive Law Enforcement training tactics, some of which include first aid / CPR, radio communications, patrol techniques, defensive tactics, and firearms. Explorers also assist the police department with civic functions and details as well as ride-a-longs with real police officers. We also have our own SWAT team! The Explorers are issued uniforms and equipment necessary to accomplish their mission. They also go on many field trips, a summer campout, and we travel to compete in Explorer competitions all over the state and country.

What Is The Police Explorer Program

Orange Police Explorer program leads to law enforcement careers ...

The Casa Grande Police Departments Explorer Program is an extension of the Boy Scouts of America. The program provides an opportunity for young men and women to experience first-hand how a police department functions and what it takes to get started in a challenging career in law enforcement. Police Explorers perform a variety of community services at parades, festivals, and special events. Occasionally, the Explorers could be called out to assist police officers in emergency situations, such as searching for missing children, searching for evidence, assisting in major disaster scenes, or to perform other duties required by the Casa Grande Police Department. In addition to gaining a working knowledge of the police work, the Explorers have the opportunity to give of themselves to their community.

If you are interested in the Casa Grande Police Department Explorer Program, contact Officer Kile Jackson at 421-8700 Ext. 6069 or

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Minier Armington Police Department Explorer Post 007

Minier, Illinois

Police Explorer Post 007 is sponsored by the Minier Armington Police Department in rural farming country half-way between Peoria and Bloomington. Established 2006 by small group of former Explorers, turned Police Officers, Post 007 is most proud of their often requested Honor Guard. They perform flag and rifle drill ceremonies across Central Illinois at parades, funerals, sporting and special community events, like Relay for Life and C.O.P.S. fund raising activities sometimes even using flags-men on horseback.

The fourteen members of the cadet-like program take their training very seriously. But, its not all work for this special breed of teenagers the goal of the Explorers is to experience all important aspects of becoming young adults in this Learning For Life program, while having fun doing it

Phoenix Police Department Explorer Post 2906

Phoenix, AZ

Explorer Post 2906 is sponsored by the Phoenix Police Department as a community-based policing program. This successful program is designed to educate and involve young men and women in police operations and to interest them in law enforcement functions whether they enter the law enforcement field or not.

As an Explorer, young adults have the opportunity to assist the Phoenix Police Department. Explorers can broaden their understanding and firsthand knowledge of the challenges and job skills that make up their communitys police service. In addition to gaining a working knowledge of police work, the participants have the opportunity to give of themselves to their community. Although Post 2906 is law enforcement oriented, Explorers are volunteers and do not serve as police employees, sworn or civilian

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Long Beach Police Explorers Post #295

The Long Beach Police Explorer Post #295 is a program designed for motivated and service-oriented young men and women who have an interest in the law enforcement field. Explorers attend weekly meetings where they receive training in all avenues of law enforcement. The program provides an opportunity for youth to gain personal satisfaction, enhance their leadership / teamwork skills, and make a difference in their community.

Recruitment for the program occurs in April and October of each year to coincide with the timing of the regional Explorer Training Academies. Applications for the Police Explorer Program may be submitted throughout the year and will be held until the next recruitment period. Download the Police Explorer Application for completion.

Milford Explorer Post 29

What Are Police EXPLORERS??

Milford, Massachusetts

The Milford Police Department established the Exploring Law Enforcement Post 29 in January 1997 under the direction of Chief Vincent W. Liberto. The Post is dedicated to the memory of Officer Edwin Gonzalez, Jr. who served the Milford Police Department as a Police Officer during the late 1980s. He died as result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in September 1990. The number 29 was Officer Gonzalezs badge number at the time of his death.

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Picking The Right Program

Once you know which program level you want to pursue, its time to figure out which one best suits your needs. When researching the schools that make it onto your all-important shortlist, keep the following questions in mind:

  • Is the school regionally accredited?
  • Can you afford the tuition?
  • Does the timeline fit with your future goals?
  • Does the program have a high success rate?
  • Does the program provide POST exam prep?

Who Can Be An Lbpd Explorer

  • You live in Long Beach
  • You are between the ages of 14 and 20, and have completed 8th grade
  • You are free from physical limitations that might prevent you from completing any duty assignment
  • You can commit eight hours of service per month after graduation from the Explorer Academy
  • You maintain a 2.00 grade point average
  • You have no felony convictions
  • You are of good moral character

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Cleveland Metropolitan School District Police Post 1111

Cleveland, Ohio

About 6 months ago Officer Lowe/ Cleveland Metropolitan School District police Department started this post 16 young adults, giving them a chance to be the junior face of law enforcement in the city. We have attended state and national competitions and loom forward to changing these children lives.

Gastonia Police Explorer Post 515

Orange Police Explorer program leads to law enforcement careers ...

Gastonia, North Carolina

The Gastonia Police Department Explorer post 515 is part of the Piedmont council boy scouts of America and are members of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Explorer Association. Our explorers do many of the same things other explorer posts do as well as compete in the NCLEEA survival camp competition and attend the Week long Explorer rookie school held at the NC justice academy. At the age of 18 explorers are given the opportunity to ride with patrol officers.

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Scarborough Police Explorer Post 883

Scarborough, Maine

The Scarborough Police Explorer Post 883 is well known throughout Maine. Explorers come from the surrounding communities to take part in this program that allows them build self confidence, leadership and everyday skills. Weekly meetings usually include community service, or training with different officers and dispatchers from the department. Officers work closely with us to ensure that we are able to ride-along safely and gain an understanding of what our job will be like as Police Officers. Scarborough Explorers are well known for their discipline and presence at many events across the state. The Post opens many doors for its participants and guides them to a challenging but rewarding career in Law Enforcement

Complete Coursework & Field Training

The coursework involved in a program that leads to work as a police officer can vary depending upon the institution and the degree level. For instance, those in a training academy will dive right into the nitty-gritty of everyday police work and not touch on general education requirements, such as you would find in an associate degree program. In both the associate and the bachelors program, students will encounter not only general education courses and several possible electives, but they will also focus on the core courses for police officers, such as those in criminal justice, ethics, corrections systems, communication, and more. Heres a good idea of courses you might encounter, either in the core curriculum of the degree program or at the police academy:

  • Patrol Procedures
Step 5

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Nassau County Police Department Explorers

Nassau, New York

Law Enforcement Exploring is here in a big way. Exploring has been in our Department since the early 1970s when the Seventh Precinct had one of the original posts. Over the years, the Departments involvement has waxed and waned from a high in 1986-87, when the former Community Projects Bureau had 30 explorers assigned to it, to a low in September of 2004 when we had four Explorers. The Department has refocused its efforts in the area of Exploring and today, through the efforts of the Precinct POP Advisors, the program has grown to over 190 Explorers. That number continues to grow each month.

You Will Have An Opportunity To Network With:

So You Wanna Be A Cop: Police Explorers
  • Law Enforcement Explorers across the country and in some cases with young adults in programs similar to Law Enforcement Exploring sponsored by foreign police agencies
  • Law enforcement professionals from local, county, state, federal and military organizations
  • Judges, prosecutors and other professionals involved with the criminal justice system
  • Community leaders, representatives from private and public community organizations, and instructors and professors from educational institutions that offer criminal justice and related programs

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Coffeyville Police Explorers Post 2104

Coffeyville, Kansas

The purpose of the Explorers Post 2104 cadet program is to allow youths to participate in our goals and at the same time become familiar with police procedures.

It is not the purpose of the program to utilize youths as regular or reserve officers and to expose them to the potential dangerous elements we face in our day-to-day operations. The role of a cadet is to be more of an observer of than a participant in police work.

Chesterfield County Police Department Explorer Post 609

Chesterfield, Virginia

The Chesterfield County Police Department has chartered Law Enforcement Explorer Post 609 since 1977. For over 30 years the post has assisted the police department and citizens of Chesterfield County, Virginia. Our post has also won several awards both at the state and national level in law enforcement skills competitions and has also produced a youth chair to the National Law Enforcement Exploring Organization.

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Mission Of Explorer Program

To educate and involve youth in Bexar County operations, to interest them in possible Law Enforcement careers and to build mutual understanding.

Through involvement, the Explorer program establishes an awareness of the complexities of Law Enforcement service. While Law Enforcement personnel remain the key to success, other reliable citizens can also become involved in the Exploring program.

Ocala Police Department/explorer Post 962

Police Explorer Program

Ocala, FL

The Ocala Police Department is entering their 51st year as an active Explorer Post. Many past and current Police Officers received their start with our Post. Explorers that successfully graduate our program are recommended for sponsorship into the local Police Academy. Police Chief Greg Graham has been very supportive of the program and continues to hire our Explorers once they enter the Academy. Post 962 conducts Explorer Bootcamps twice a year and invites other local police and sheriff agencies to participate. The Boot Camp is an intensive program much like a Army Bootcamp but geared towards police topics. At the end of the camp the Explorer Post compete against each other in several different law enforcement topics.

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Training Institutions For Police Officers

Now that you know what options there are for becoming a police officer, its important to know where they are offered. There are many schools that exist to help you move into the law enforcement career of your choice. Here are the options:

Vocational/trade schools

These post-high school institutions focus their programs and curriculums on skill-oriented or hands-on training. This training can come in the form of what effectively amounts to an in-house police academy. Vocational and trade schools can provide the fastest way to obtain the training necessary to become a police officer and allow students to receive police academy training without attending the official police academy. Its also fairly affordable compared to earning a college degree. Keep in mind that graduation doesnt guarantee a job in law enforcement and may not result in an academic credential that provides opportunities for professional advancement.

Best for? Those confident in obtaining a job offer after graduation and want to serve as a police officer as quickly as possible.

Community colleges

Best for? Students who would like to earn a college degree along with their law enforcement training.


Best for? Those who love serving their country or community will benefit from the rewarding experience that can come from military service.

Four-year schools

Best for? Aspiring police officers who want an extra way to stand out from the pack of applicants, as well as those looking for federal work.

About Puyallup Police Explorer Post #530

The Puyallup Police Department Explorer Post #530 is a volunteer organization under Learning for Lifes Law Enforcement Exploring program. Law Enforcement Exploring is open to young men and women ages 14 to 20 years old with an interest in learning more and developing a career in Law Enforcement. The Explorer program trains young adults on the missions, objectives, responsibilities, real-life situations and everyday lives of law enforcement professionals. The program provides insight into law enforcement careers, leadership opportunities, pre-law enforcement training and tactics, and community service activities and events.

In the first six months in the program, each explorer attends the Washington Law Enforcement Exploring Advisors Academy where Explorers are able to obtain hands-on training by law enforcement professionals from all around Washington State. The Puyallup Police Explorers also participate in local and national competitions. The Puyallup Explorer Post is led by an Explorer Captain, which reports to an overseeing Puyallup Police Sergeant and several Police Officers/Advisors.

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What Is Police Exploring

The Prince William County Police Explorer program is overseen by the Police Department’s School Resource Officers and provides youth with the knowledge of the law enforcement function in their community, and it gives them an idea of day-to-day police operations. Involvement in the Police Exploring program establishes an awareness of the complexities of police service.

  • To apply, simply fill-out the Explorer Program Application and send the completed form to the email below. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

*Note: Please email completed applications to Emily Baker

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