Just like the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals do in training and grooming their players in the “Cardinal way” for success in MLB, so does the Hazelwood Police Department instill the “tradition of excellence” in its members of Police Explorers Post #9217.
Four years ago, members of this Explorers Post brought home the first-place trophy for the “Traffic Stops” competition at the National Law Enforcement Explorers Conference. This year, current Hazelwood Police Explorers are going back to the same event, which is held every other year, with intentions of carrying on their unit’s tradition of being among the nation’s best.
Through their hard work in raising money hosting several Trivia Night events, members of the Hazelwood Police Explorers Post #9217 are sending five of their own and two advisors to the 2014 National Law Enforcement Explorers Conference, scheduled for July 13-19 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
The names of those going on the trip include the following: Explorer Capt. Makil Walker; Explorer Sgt. Nicholas Mettes; Explorer Tanner Kistner; Explorer Craig Seaward; and Explorer Katelynn Eagan. Police department advisors for the group are P.O. William Russ and Disp. James Ervin. Approximately 2,500 explorers from over 500 explorer programs in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico are expected to attend the event.
“Our Explorers train for this Conference constantly. They have worked hard and sacrificed a lot of their personal time to prepare for this event. I’m confident they will represent the City of Hazelwood well and do great in the competition,” Hazelwood P.O./Explorer Advisor William Russ said.
The purpose of this Conference is to test the explorers in two areas of law enforcement out of these 12 competition categories: Arrest and Search; Bomb Threat Response; Crime Scene Search; Crime Prevention; Domestic Crisis Intervention; Shoot/Don’t Shoot; Crisis Negotiation; Burglary in Progress; Traffic Accident Investigation; Traffic Stops; White Collar Crime; and Emergency First Aid. Each explorers’ team is presented with a scenario and given a score based on how well they handled the situation. Trophies are awarded to the top five finishers in each category.
The explorers will also compete in a physical agility course, bike patrol course, emergency vehicle operations, 9mm pistol competition, and parade drill. In between these competitions, they are afforded the opportunity to attend daily seminars and classroom presentations taught by local, national and federal law enforcement instructors.
“The real goal is giving our explorers up-to-date training that will produce well-rounded recruits even before they start attending the police academy. For those who decide not to go into law enforcement, they still acquire important leadership and team-building skills that are necessary in today’s workplace, as well as the knowledge that may equip them to save their own life or the lives of others some day,” P.O. Russ added.
The Hazelwood Police Department established its Police Explorers Post #9217 in the summer of 2003. Affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, they originally started with seven members and two advisors. However, over the years, the Post has grown to 12 explorers and 10 advisors. Several members who graduated from this program have gone on to pursue successful law enforcement careers as police officers, dispatchers, and correction officers. The success rate is high for those who are accepted into the Post and complete the program.
The criteria for qualifying as an explorer include the following: participants must be young adults between the ages of 14 and 21; if age 14, they must be out of 8th grade; maintain a “C” grade average in school or above; and pass both a criminal background check and a juvenile delinquency background check. For more information, check out the Explorers’ official website at www.hazelwoodpoliceexplorers.weebly.com or contact either P.O. William Russ or P.O. Mike Monticelli at (314) 838-5000.