This event is being held during the week of July 21-26 at Maryville University. It is run like a boot camp for local Police Explorers and simulates what it’s like to go to the Police Academy. It also helps train them for the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference scheduled for 2014 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Hazelwood Explorers attending the Academy are staying on-site in dormitories the whole week. Instructors wake them up every morning at 5 am and give them time for physical training, showering, making their bed, and preparing for room inspections and roll call by 7 am. After breakfast, they begin classroom learning at 8 am.
The lectures cover all aspects of police work ranging from criminal law to crime prevention, defensive weapon tactics to officer survival, traffic stop to arrest procedures, criminal and bomb investigations to burglaries in progress, accident to narcotic investigations, and hostage negotiations to emergency management. Later in the day, they are given opportunities to roll play and put what they learn to practical use. In addition, they are given time to run through drills, march formations and obstacle courses.
The advisors who teach these courses are certified police officers from different law enforcement agencies throughout the St. Louis region. The instructors chosen for the Shoot Don’t Shoot/Defensive Tactics class included Lt. Ray White (ret.) and P.O. Will Russ of Hazelwood. Both of them were instrumental in preparing Hazelwood’s Police Explorers to win the 1st Place trophy in the Traffic Stop category at the 2010 National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Here are some reactions from Hazelwood Explorers who are assigned to the Level 1 group since they are relatively new under the age of 18. Craig Seaward: “We’re learning defensive tactics, traffic stop procedures and everything that a police officer needs to know.” (Time as Hazelwood Police Explorer: 1 1/2 years) Nick Mettes: “I’ve learned there’s a lot more to an officer’s job than just pulling people over and arresting them. It’s more about taking care of the community, making sure its safe for everyone and their families.” (Time as Hazelwood Police Explorer: 2 years) These Explorers, and others participating in this year’s Greater St. Louis Area Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, may end up being law enforcement officers on Hazelwood’s police force.
Young people between the ages of 14 and 21 who are interested in joining Hazelwood’s Police Explorers Post #9217 should contact Sgt. Andy Eagan at (314) 513-5208 or P.O. Mike Monticelli at (314) 839-3700.