By Jessie R. Box
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Police Explorers is a program that allows groups of young men and women to explore what it means to be a police officer and whether it is what they see in their future as a career. The children must be 14-years-old to 20-years-old to participate in the program. The Police Explorers program at the City of Madison Police Department meet every Monday at 7 p.m.
Sergeant Chris Cooks and Officer Travis Johnson are the Police Explorer’s advisors but it was City of Madison Police Chief Gary Calhoun’s daughter, Rebecca Calhoun, who was the force behind starting the Police Explorers. Prior to moving to Madison, she was in a Police Explorers program. At the time that her family moved, she had four more years that she could be involved in the program. She has now retired from the Police Explorers but is still committed to the program. She is currently enrolled at Valdosta State University but comes down to Madison whenever she can to help.
The program currently has twelve explorers. The program will teach explorer’s how to handle situations when you have make a traffic stop, clearing a building and how to communicate with Communications in law enforcement codes. The explorers are also able to get hands on experience by participating in a ride-along and helping out at city events such as the Fourth of July celebration.
Jacob Briggs, 15, is a sergeant in the Police Explorers. He has been a member for over a year. He joined Police Explorer’s because he wants to be a police officer and do his part for his community.
“It’s gave me a hands on experience,” said Briggs. “They show you what they really do and it helped me see that it’s the career for me.”
Aylin Torralbas, 15, is currently the only girl in the program. She has been in the program for almost a year. She wanted to see what Police Explorers was and to be involved in her community. Torralbas had certain expectations for the Police Explorers program when she started but she said it is better than she expected. She now wants to become a police officer and a flight attendant.
Terron Harry, 16, has been involved in Police Explorers for four weeks. With family members involved in the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and his father is a correctional officer; he wanted to experience the law enforcement field. He is now determined that becoming a police officer is what he wants as a career.
Harry’s favorite part of the Police Explorers program is “riding around with a good group of people who are willing to help you and getting to know what it is like in the field.”
If anyone is interested in joining, call the City of Madison Police Station at (850) 973-5077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.