First published in the Jan. 6 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is opening enrollment for its next 18-week Explorer Academy, starting in late February.
Young adults between 14 and 20 years old are encouraged to join the program held every Saturday once started at the STARS Center in Whittier, California.
Requirements for participants include a 2.0 or higher GPA, no serious criminal/probation record, passing a drug screening and submitting to a background check.
The Explorers will be trained to learn laws, how to search/handcuff, write reports, handle calls for service (domestic violence, family disturbance, felony traffic stops, active shooters, assaults, etc). After being trained, they can go on “ride-alongs” with full-time deputies on patrol in La Cañada Flintridge or La Crescenta. As they gain experience, they will have the opportunity to go on ride-a-longs with other officers at stations throughout the county.
The Crescenta Valley Station Explorers can expect to assist with numerous events, including the La Cañada Fiesta Days Parade, La Cañada Turkey Trot, Station Open House, Haunted Jail and Volunteer Rummage Sale.
The Crescenta Valley Explorer Post has attended more than 100 competitions against other Explorers across the U.S., and earned hundreds of trophies and certificates.
Over the years, Explorers have gone onto the Naval Academy, Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard, with some graduating at the Sheriff’s Academy to become Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs, San Diego County deputy sheriffs, Glendale police officers and Los Angeles police officers.
Meetings are usually held every second and fourth Monday of each month.
For more information, contact the Explorer Coordinators Sgt. John Gilbert at (818) 236-4027 and Deputy Marcelo Ruiz at (818) 236-4026.