Tehachapi Police Explorer post 1018 "Crime Breakers"
The Tehachapi Police Department Explorer Post 1018, established through the Boy Scouts of America, is an organization designed to provide young men and women between the ages of 14-20 with an insight into the world of law enforcement. All police officers who train the explorers donate their off duty time.
Explorers experience first–hand how a police department functions and what it takes to get started in a challenging career in law enforcement. The program gives young people self-confidence, discipline, and a feeling of community involvement. The youths are trained in all aspects of law enforcement, including report writing, traffic stops, crime scene investigation, radio codes, defensive tactics, firearms safety, military drill, arrest procedures, and crimes in progress. The Explorer Program will not only prepare these individuals for future careers in law enforcement, but will also promote the growth and development of the adolescent youth which will benefit them regardless of their chosen profession.
As a part of an explorer post, the explorers train to compete in competitions throughout California and out of state against other explorer posts. Small 2-6 person teams compete by responding to mock calls for service and handling the situation as it begins to unfold. Each scenario dictates the type of response needed and how to deal with suspects, victims, and witnesses of crimes, traffic accidents, suspicious activity, search warrants, etc...
As a non-profit organization, the explorers rely on donations and fund raising to travel to competitions, pay entry fees, purchase uniforms, and training equipment. During the holiday season they can often be seen at local businesses selling chocolate bars. Other times of the year they are dumping trash at community events, parking cars at rodeo events, manning road closures during parades, or serving meals to local organizations who request extra help.
They are currently raising funds to enter a competition in Federal Way, Wa. The competition consists of two days of competition and the third day is an awards ceremony. Federal Way puts on a very exciting competition that consists of a wide variety of calls including SWAT based scenarios that the kids really enjoy. During previous competitions, our explorers have made many new friends which has led to their being invited to other competitions.
Recently the Tehachapi Police Explorers were asked to serve meals to those attending the veterans Collaborative Services dinner. The explorers showed up in the morning on Saturday to set up tables, chairs, and help with decorating. They were introduced to a few board members who explained what the group was all about. The explorers returned in the afternoon to begin final preparations. At one point in the evening, the Explorers told me that whatever money was donated to the Explorers by the veterans they wished to donate back to the veterans Collaborative Services group. This selfless action showed me just what kind of youth we have in our program.