The Clovis Police Explorers Program offers local youth a look into the career of law enforcement.
A branch of the Boy Scouts of America, Police Explorers offers youth a chance to pick up tools of the trade in the classroom and then jump into the action outside.
“It’s another great opportunity to interact with kids, and try to help them go down the right path in life,” said CPD Community Relations Officer Daron Roach.
Police Explorers, one of three such programs in the state, is recruiting men and women ages 14 to 18 who can commit to one year of training with law enforcement professionals in multiple areas.
Participants meet twice a month to learn about such things as court procedure, criminal forensics, traffic enforcement, and community relations.
Participants will also partake in emergency driving and patrol officer duties, training in defensive tactics, handling equipment that officers use on the job and tours of legal facilities.
“It benefits the youth by giving them the insights and a starting area of some things they may be thinking about getting into,” said Officer Dale Rice of the CPD, who’s been involved with the program for 10 years.
“It benefits the community because you have these kids who are learning these things and want to do some type of law enforcement. They’re actually going out and talking to other kids about what they do, what they learn, and trying to get those kids thinking about it, too,” he said.
One former Police Explorer Rice mentored is an E-5 and a military police officer in the U.S. Army at age 25. Another, 19-year-old Portales native Michael Foshee, serves as security sergeant with Valor Security at North Plains Mall.
Foshee’s determination to become a police officer led him to join Police Explorers at age 16.
“The program gave me a good connection with the police department, and I’ve learned a lot of stuff that I use here (as mall security sergeant), like approach techniques, interview skills, patrol practice, professionalism,” said Foshee.
“Everything we did hands-on was more fun, but I enjoyed the classroom too,” he said.
Foshee’s favorite part of the program was the high-speed pursuit course that focused on driving precision. The aspiring law officer desires a police beat that will provide a nice mix of action and downtime.