By Desiree Williams
The Zionsville Police Dept. is initiating a new program this year for youth to explore law enforcement as a career option. The department will host an open house at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at the station to introduce the program, get the community engaged and answer questions from anyone interested in joining.
The explorer program allows youth ages 14 to 21 to learn about law enforcement, from a hands-on perspective. Explorer Coordinator officer Joshua Chapman said leaders will create a lecture for a specific lesson and then allow explorers to practice what they just learned.
Those interested must apply for acceptance into the program. Youth will go through a background check and interview. Chapman said the department wants youth with good moral character and in good physical condition.
“We don’t expect any kid to be perfect, because no one is ever perfect,” he said. “We just want them to try.”
When accepted, explorers attend meetings every other week at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. The department will monitor school grades and behavior throughout the program.
There are options for explorers to do more than what is required. Chapman said explorers can participate in community service, ride along with officers, log additional study hours and more. The extra opportunities are incentives for explorers to become leaders in their groups.
“My goal is for them to have a better understanding of law enforcement and truly discover if this is the career for them or if it’s not,” he said. “We’d rather them discover it early and determine if something else in the criminal justice field is for them.”
The first year costs $50 to cover insurance, uniforms and activities. There is a price decrease for the second year.
The department is partnering with Learning for Life through Boy Scouts of America to produce the program. To learn more, visit zionsville-in.gov.