Tahoe training for hopeful law officers
More than 800 youth met in Stateline this weekend to compete in the Western Regional Explorers Conference.
The youth, ages 14 to 21, are part of the Explorers program that is founded by the Boy Scouts of America. The program allows young people to volunteer in law enforcement jobs so that they can get field work experience.
While on duty the Explorers go on ride-alongs with real law enforcement agents but at the conference they competed in teams in mock law enforcement scenarios.
In uniforms complete with badges, the youth participated in a competition that included mock traffic stops, vehicle searches, building searches and boat rescues for placement titles and trophies.
The South Lake Tahoe Police and Douglas County Sheriff’s departments had their own Explorers representatives.
“I do it because it’s fun and it sets a good example that you don’t need to be in trouble to be cool,” said Chuck Scott, a 19-year-old Explorer for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
“There’s a lot of skills that you can take with you,” said 16-year-old Amber Smith, a Douglas County Sheriff Explorer.
Douglas County Sheriff Dave Nishikida agreed.
“The kids learn self-respect and discipline, these things are good experiences to take with them in life and also to a law enforcement career,” he said. “They give 110 percent and I’m proud of them.”
Nishikida said he has an extra reason to be proud of the Douglas County Sheriffs Explorers.
They took second place in the drill competition which involves marching in formation.
“It’s a more difficult competition than the others because everyone has to work together,” Nishikida said. “If one person is out if line then they all lose, it’s teamwork.”
The Douglas County Explorers plan to compete in this summer’s national competition in Georgia.
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