The Arnold Police Department will revive its Police Explorer program after a 17-year hiatus.
The program, called Explorer Post 9562 by the Boy Scouts of America, is for Jefferson County residents ages 14 to 20 who are interested in learning police work.
“It’s getting harder and harder to find good applicants who want to do this job,” Arnold Police Chief Brian Carroll said. “We wanted to start this program to give young adults an opportunity to see what it takes to be a police officer. We hope our explorers will look up to our officers as role models and give them a better understanding of this profession.
“If they decide law enforcement isn’t for them, that’s OK. Hopefully we can make a difference in their lives and they can take their experience and apply it to their future career aspirations.”
Arnold Police will hold information meetings about the program from 18-19 Thursday, April 27; 11 a.m. to noon and 2-3 p.m. Saturday, April 29; and 1:00-2:00 p.m., Sunday, April 30, in the Conference Center on the lower level of City Hall, 2101 Jeffco Blvd.
Public Relations Training Officer Josh Lambrich said those interested in participating in the program need only attend one of the meetings.
“During these meetings, we will explain the Explorer’s Code of Ethics, what the position entails, the benefits of becoming an Explorer and the requirements necessary to become an Explorer,” Carroll said.
He said the department has not had a detection program since 2006.
To be eligible, applicants must either be students, high school graduates, or have a GED or equivalent. Applicants are subject to a criminal history background check and must have no serious arrests or convictions or violations of Explorer’s Code of Ethics.
Those younger than 18 need the approval of a parent or guardian to participate in the program, and those still in school must maintain a “C” grade point average.
Carroll said participants can participate in the program until they turn 21, when they will become eligible to be police officers.
He said it costs $45 to apply for the program and the department will cover the cost of explorer uniforms.
“This is a minimal expense that I have already incorporated into this year’s budget,” he said.
Carroll said Police Officer Kevin Wilson, who is also the school resource officer for the Fox C-6 School District’s Arnold campuses, will work with the program participants along with Officer Missy Herold and Lt. Jim Sikes.
Carroll said the department hopes to start the program early this summer, with up to 15 members participating.
He said the Explorers would meet twice a month at the police department, 2101 Jeffco Blvd., and learn the importance of teamwork, leadership, problem solving and physical fitness.
The Explorers will also attend various community events and learn about building searches, traffic stops, crime scene responses and other police-related calls for service.
Carroll said he hopes the program will produce future Arnold police officers.
“Recruitment in this profession is at an all-time low,” he said. “We need to change this and look for other opportunities. I hope the explorer program will help us invest in the next generation of police officers. We want our explorers to feel like they have a place in our department and that they are valued and appreciated.
“In a perfect case, our explorers would be assigned to our department for several years and then enter a police academy knowing all the ins and outs of our agency. Upon graduation from the academy, they would become police officers with our agency.”
For more information, visit the Arnold Police Department website at arnoldmo.org/government/police and click on the Explorer Program link.