The Explorers Program allows high school students to begin training
to join law enforcement.
By: Emma Diehl
The Explorers program at Post 916 is a way for high school students to become more
educated in the ways of the police department, and to prepare them more for their future
With meetings once a week, the Explorers use a wide variety of training methods on different
subjects in order to enhance their knowledge of the Sheriff’s office. One of the ways that these
students learn these steps is through scenario training.
“Scenarios are a great tool to use because they allow us to physically do what we need to do.
They take us through all of the necessary steps, and allow us to work our way through it. We will
be corrected [by our superiors] as we go. So if, heaven forbid, something horrible does happen,
we will be better prepared to handle the situation. We will do these scenarios over and over so
that we can get better at handling the situation, and make sure we follow the procedures,”
Explorer Sergeant Hunter Reid said.
The post 916 application process begins when students attend their first meeting as a visitor.
When a visitor comes in, the Explorers welcome them, and get them started in the application
process. They will hand the person a pre-application form, to gather the applicant’s contact
information. Then, when they hand them an application, which the student will bring to the next
meeting that they come to. During the second meeting, they will return a completed application,
and they will have what is called an Oral interview. During the oral interview, a couple of officers
ask them a few questions to see if they are eligible to become an Explorer. On the person’s third
meeting, they will have an oral board. The oral board consists of four senior Explorers asking
the visitor common questions that are asked in a job interview. The Explorers grade them on
their responses and then determine if they will be accepted or not.
While many in the program have said that it is something fun to be a part of, the
Explorers program also has real life applications.
“I chose to join the Explorers program because I saw how it would be a great tool for me
to use in order to have a future career in law enforcement. The program also helps people with
life skills needed in any line of work,” Explorer Lieutenant Tyler Boogades said.
Applicants must be 14 to 21 years of age; they must currently be in high school, have
graduated high school, or have their GED. The applicant in question must have at least a 2.0
grade point average; they must also not have any criminal history.
For students throughout Pasco County, the Explorers Program offers a chance to work and
train with law enforcement officials, while actively learning about and participating in the career
field that is of interest to them. Students interested should contact their school resource officer
for more information.