SPD Explorer's Post #322
The Explorer’s Program has been in effect with the Sterling Police Department for 29 years, beginning in 1989. At the end of 2017, the Post had nine members ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old. Sergeant Russell Baca serves as the senior supervisor for the post, Detective Nicholas Cantrell serve as Post Advisor, and Officers Ryan Peterson and Spencer Kind serve as associate advisors with Chief Tyson Kerr as the Committee Chairman. All advisors work voluntarily with the Explorers on various projects, such as fingerprinting children, security projects, fund raisers, and aiding with traffic control at many community events.
The Explorers, in either their distinguishing grey uniforms and black BDU pants, were very visible at many 2018 Sterling events, to include the Logan County Fair and Parade, Heritage Days on July 4th at the Overland Trail Museum, and security at Sugar Beet Days, to name a few. The Explorers participate in numerous Ride-A-Longs with the officers. The Explorers were valuable assets in assisting with practical trainings with new officers in the FTO Program in 2018. During these functions, the Explorers provide a valuable assist with many tasks for the officer to whom they are assigned. As a brief overview, Explorers is a program for boys and girls between 10 and 20 years of age. While it is a national program through the Boy Scouts of America Exploring Program, the local post is run through the Sterling Police Department. The youth enrolled in the program participate in weekly meetings ranging from 2 to 4 hours in length. During the meetings advisors, who are Sterling PD Officers, and guest speakers teach several police related skills. Besides the police skills we speak highly of the Explorer program in general because no matter a child's long term goals, Exploring provides exciting activities and one-on-one mentorship for youth looking to discover their future. Whether you’re a young person wanting to uncover the possibilities of your future, Exploring is a great place to start. In addition to meetings, Explorers participate in community events and can compete in regional competitions against other Explorer posts. Law Enforcement Explorer Posts help youth to gain insight into a variety of programs that offer hands-on career activities. For young men and women who are interested in careers in the field of law enforcement, “exploring” offers experiential learning with lots of fun-filled, hands-on activities that promote the growth and development of adolescent youth.
The program operates off of donations received throughout the year from events in which they provide security services, such as the annual Sugar Beet Days, held in downtown Sterling. The Explorers work in shifts at this event, providing 24 hour coverage for the many vendor booths.
In July 2016 five explorers spent a week in Gunnison, CO attending the LEEPAAC conference. The conference is a yearly event that brings together Posts from around the area, even other states, to put on display the skills they have learned. The explorers had a great time, made friends, and got a different perspective on how other Posts operate. Kendrick Thompson also received an award, along with his team consisting of explorers from other Posts, for their work during an Officer Down scenario.
Many former Explorers of the Sterling Police Department’s program are currently working in agencies which include the Sterling Police Department, the Sterling Department of Corrections, Fort Morgan Police Department, Logan County Sheriff’s Office, and the Colorado State Patrol. Explorer Sgt. Andrew De Souza was recently hired by the Colorado State Patrol Port Authority and started working for them in January 2018.
If you have a son or a daughter in school who is interested in law enforcement as a career, the Explorers Program would be good exposure for them. To contact an Advisor and gain further details regarding the program, please call (970) 522-3512 and ask for Sgt. Baca or Detective Cantrell.