• 75°

Suffolk Police bring back Explorers Program

The Suffolk Police Department has relaunched its Explorers Program designed for young people who are interested in law enforcement or criminal justice-related fields.

“This program, in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, offers young adults a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experience, competition as well as other activities,” said Interim Police Chief Al Chandler in introducing the program at City Council’s July 21 meeting. “Furthermore, the program promotes personal growth through character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism.”

The program, in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, is for those in the sixth grade through age 20, and the 10 people in the program will be a part of Explorer Post 124. It’s the first for the department in about 20 years, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Chandler thanked City Council for the funding to re-establish it.

They have already met for individual interviews, received uniforms and equipment, read the oath of honor and met the three former Explorers, Lt. Gary Myrick, Crime Scene Investigator Supervisor Julissa Armstrong and Sgt. Herman Kee.

“We are, indeed, excited to reestablish Post 124, and particularly excited about this amazing group of young people to work with,” Chandler said. “We find great joy in having the opportunity to work with the future of our city. And we are grateful that we have alumni of police Explorer programs that are now seasoned professionals within our department.”

Myrick, Armstrong and Kee “jumped at the opportunity to provide young people with the same, wonderful opportunity that led them to having long, highly-decorated and successful careers in law enforcement.”

Lauren Howell and Anthony Stewart, regional representatives with the Boy Scouts of America, were also on hand during the presentation.

Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett said he had talked to City Manager Al Moor about bringing back the program, and he recalled Myrick and Kee were still with the police department and had been a part of the Explorer Program. Bennett said he is excited for its return.

“I know that there are good, current products that come from the Explorers,” Bennett said. “So they have been able to share a lot, I’m sure, with you all, what the Explorers are all about, and the future that you could have with this great city.”

Mayor Mike Duman also shared his excitement for starting the program again.

“I’m looking forward to having some homegrown officers on the force here shortly. So we’ll be here for your badge pinning,” Duman said.