In our ongoing effort to create opportunities to engage with our community – particularly our youth – in ways that promote safety, cultivate understanding, and build trust, the MPD Community Outreach section recently reinstated our Explorer Post 911 program. Police Exploring is a subset of the national Learning for Life Exploring program, which facilitates career mentorship in a variety of fields to include law enforcement, aviation, business, communications, engineering, fire, health, law, science, skilled trades, social services, as well as careers in the arts and humanities. Exploring is open to young adults ages 14-20 who have completed 8th grade. Through this program, Explorers will be trained in a variety of subjects that will allow each youth to develop their skills, leadership abilities, and learn about the police profession from MPD officers.
On September 20th, the MPD Explorer Post 911 Advisors – a group of volunteer officers committed to mentoring youth through the coordination of this program – welcomed 25 young Explorers from Madison and the surrounding areas at the inaugural meeting. These Explorers were selected following a somewhat rigorous application process that consisted of the submission of individual resumes, essay responses, letters of recommendation, and academic transcripts as requirements for consideration and selection into the program. Background checks were also completed to ensure program integrity.
All Learning for Life Exploring programs are based on the following five areas of emphasis: Career Opportunities, Life Skills, Citizenship, Character Education, and Leadership Experience. Law Enforcement Exploring fulfills all of these areas of emphasis in its mission to offer Explorers interested in a career in law enforcement the opportunity to:
- Gain exposure to various criminal justice careers and to have positive interaction with law enforcement professionals. [Career Opportunities]
- Obtain "hands-on" experience and awareness of the criminal justice system, thereby helping Explorers to make an informed decision on a career in law enforcement or a related field. [Career Opportunities]
- Receive comprehensive career focused training that in many cases qualifies for academic credit (i.e. career education credit). [Career Opportunities]
- Benefit from interpersonal growth through self-discipline, teamwork, challenging experiences, and high standards of performance and personal conduct. [Citizenship, Character Education]
- Enhance character development and improve physical and mental fitness. [Character Education, Life Skills]
- Learn responsibility to self and others through leadership. [Leadership Experience]
- Serve their community by assisting their sponsoring agency in a supplementary law enforcement and liaison capacity. [Citizenship]
Each year Explorers will have the opportunity to attend numerous competitions at the local, regional, and national level. MPD Explorers will train throughout the year to go compete against other posts and test their skills in a variety of criminal investigations such as, but not limited to: Burglaries; domestics; bomb scenes; and hostage negotiations. Once our Explorers are further along in their training, you will see them in the field on ride-alongs with officers and assisting at community events such as Safety Saturday, the various 4th of July celebrations, and Concerts on the Square, just to name a few. They will have uniforms and be readily identifiable so when you see them, please take a moment to welcome and congratulate them on this accomplishment as extensions and ambassadors of the Madison Police Department.
Questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog was authored by Captain Kristen Roman.