MADERA COUNTY – The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is holding open enrollment for teens between the ages 14 and 20, who may be interested in signing up for the department’s Explorer Program.
The Explorer program teaches its members the basics, which include: Police radio techniques, patrol procedures, domestic calls, vehicle stops, bomb threat response, first emergency responder scenarios, arrest and seizures, defense tactics, first aid, traffic control and criminal law.
A subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America, this program has mentored and fostered some of the finest students, who then went on to become some of the department’s most celebrated sheriff’s deputies. Some of them include former Undersheriff Frank Benard; Sergeants Larry Rich, Jacob Tallmon, and Jeff Thomas, who, in 2002 won the highest medal of honor for bravery; and Deputies Joseph Wilder, Mike Thomas and Miguel Hernandez.
Currently there are currently 33 members; 13 boys and 3 girls in the mountains, and 13 boys and 4 girls in the valley.
“One of our main objectives is to promote team building and leadership among these young adults,” says Sheriff John Anderson.
Members of the Explorer Program are also actively involved in community service events sponsored by the Department. Each member is required to fulfill at least 40 hours of community service a year, but Madera County trainees average at least 100 hours a year.
Some of the events in which they have participated include fingerprinting children, SWAT training and even Search & Rescue missions.
One of their mainstays is parking detail. They provide this service to a number of venues, including Crime Stoppers. Madera County Explorers work Crime Stoppers’ annual June Jam, typically managing as many as 3,000 guests. Just this week, they received a $200 check from the organizers of Madera’s annual Joaquin Murrieta Ride, for running that event’s parking detail.
All monies earned by Explorers from parking detail duties go toward uniforms and critical training.
There are six basic requirements to join and remain in the program:
· Must be at least 14 years old or have completed eighth grade
· Must be enrolled in school with a 2.0 GPA and NO FAILING GRADES
· No serious contacts or arrests
· Be in good physical condition with weight proportional to height
· Have parental or guardian approval
· Successfully pass a background check
Anyone who is interested in finding out more should also keep in mind that students who excel in the Explorers Program have the chance to win student scholarships to be put toward either college or Police Academy tuition.
There are two scheduled recruitment dates:
DATE: Friday August 22, 2014
TIME: 4 p.m.
PLACE: Oakhurst Substation, 48267 Liberty Drive
DATE: Tuesday August 26, 2014
TIME: 5:30 p.m.
PLACE: Sheriff’s Annex, 28281 Avenue 14
For more information, contact CSO Jo Ann Evans, Explorer Coordinator, at the Madera County Sheriff’s Department at 559-642-3201 or at the department’s main number 559-675-7770.
You can follow the Sheriff’s latest posts and information on both Facebook facebook.com/MaderaSheriff and Twitter: twitter.com/MaderaSheriff