There are minimum requirement which must be met before being accepted into the program. The individual must be at least 14 years old, must have completed the eighth grade, and have at least a "C" average in school. In addition, the student must not be on active probation, be willing to devote time to the program, and pass all training requirements.
Before actively participating in the ride-along portion of the program, the Explorer must complete several basic training elements. After finishing an orientation, the Explorer learns the essentials of traffic control, fingerprinting, officer survival, self-defense, operating the H.E.A.T. cart, Virginia laws and code enforcement, crime scene procedures, and search and rescue. Upon successfully completing the entire training, the Explorer is equipped with a uniform, traffic direction equipment, rain gear, a coat, a hat, and a duffle bag for storage.
The "job description" for an individual in this program mirrors that of an officer. In addition to the areas covered by the above training, the individual assists with crime prevention programs, patrol, office or clerical tasks, staffing the information booth at fairs, maintaining department vehicles, and crowd control at special events. The local law explorer post may plan fund raising functions, such as a car wash or fruit sale, to have money for special equipment or events.
Being an active member of the Law Explorers can be a rewarding experience for a young person who has an interest in a future career as a police officer. For more information, please contact Lieutenant Jeff Dodson (540) 829-5526.