Assignment puts Police Explorers in military bunks |

Assignment puts Police Explorers in military bunks

Gregory Crofton

Direct traffic for four days at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am then spend the night bunked in military barracks.

That’s what 14 South Lake Tahoe Police Explorers left Wednesday from South Shore to go and do.

Explorers are young people, aged 14 to 21, who volunteer at the police department. They learn the basics of law enforcement by assisting patrol officers on ride-alongs, and alcohol and tobacco stings.

Explorers expect to earn $3,000 for their work at the Pro-Am. That money helps fund trips to Explorer competitions held each year.

In January, seven South Shore Explorers traveled to Chandler, Ariz., to compete against 300 Explorers from the western United States. They carted home nine trophies, three individual awards and six team awards.

Explorer Nathan Coats won first place in beam target shooting and second place in the three-mile run.

At the event, a high-ranking officer from an Arizona police department expressed interest in hiring some South Shore Explorers after they finished school.

South Lake Tahoe Police Cmdr. George Brown also takes pride in the group.

“There’s a satisfaction in knowing there are a handful of young people who are good, responsible members of community,” Brown said. “There are some kids who make mistakes out there and do something awful. But we should remember there are a whole bunch of kids doing good work out there.”

Brown said working at the Pro-Am is a great learning experience for the Explorers, many of whom aspire to a career in law enforcement.

“The No. 1 thing they learn is the discipline of having to be at a particular place, at a particular time and having to perform a particular function,” he said. “They also learn a great deal about public relations and team-building within their post and with other Explorer posts.”

Each year Explorers enter two competitions and travel to two fund-raisers, one being the Pro-Am. They also raise money by selling T-shirts. Right now 19 Explorers volunteer at the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.

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