Blue lights swirl around the top of the highly tuned police cruiser, sirens loud enough to wake up the next town. One can see two police officers run down a fleeing armed robbery suspect. Is this another episode of COPS? No, those two officers that just chased down a felon are Law Enforcement Explorers. What has just happened was a training exercise to test the explorer's senses and judgment. All of this while being overwhelmed with the normal activities that real police officers face on nearly every call they answer.
The Law Enforcement Explorers are all about training. That is the purpose of the program, to train youths to be better law enforcement officers and citizens in general (Explorers 1). Who are these Law Enforcement Explorers? What do they do, and why are they pretending to be police officers?
Law Enforcement or Police Exploring is a subcategory of the Learning for Life Program, which is a division of the Boy Scouts of America.
The program sponsored locally by law enforcement agencies and is open to either male or female youths age 14 to 21 years, who are in good standing with the law and their school and must maintain a C average, and have interest in some aspect of a Law Enforcement Career (Hess 154).
Exploring is a community policing program centered on getting youths off the streets and limiting their free time. Youths that are actually interested in careers in law enforcement get two fold benefits from the program as they actually are able to see what it is like to be a cop.
The program, geared around law enforcement, gives youth self-confidence, discipline, and a feeling of community involvement. The youths are trained in all aspects of law enforcement, including traffic stops, domestic crisis, SWAT operations, firearm safety,