To the Members and Parents of the Downey Police Explorer Program,
This letter is designed to serve as a brief overview of the Downey Police Department's Explorer Program. As a way of introduction, it is prudent for us to recognize the importance of the basic mission of the department. Our Primary mission is to preserve the peace and to protect all who live, work or travel through our City. In doing so, we strive to make a meaningful contribution to the quality of life in our community. One of the most satisfying benefits that we derive as an organization is the knowledge that our efforts contribute to the safety and well being of the people we come in contact with.
We recognize that to be successful as an organization, we must build and maintain strong partnerships in our community. We feel that these partnerships are as important to our youth as they are to the adults. Our hope is that we can make a real contribution to the development of our young people on their journey towards becoming successful, mature, law-abiding citizens.
As a part of this process, we have instituted the Downey Police Department's Explorer Program. Our goal is to provide an avenue for our local high school students to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. While doing so, we hope to give our Explorers an opportunity to explore law enforcement as a career. Regardless of their eventual choice, we hope to do everything in our power to ensure that our young people have an opportunity to gain an appreciation for the personal satisfaction that is derived through community service.
Participants range in age from fourteen to seventeen. They work under the close supervision of our advisors, who are Downey Police Officers who have volunteered to serve in the program. These advisors are tasked with ensuring that the Explorers have a safe and positive experience.
Typically the Explorers meet on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. During these meetings, the Explorers prepare their uniforms for inspection and receive a review from the advisor. All uniforms and equipment are provided at no cost to the individual Explorer.
Often the Explorers work as a group, to complete assignments around the police station. On occasion they are given written assignments and spelling lists that are designed to better prepare them for the future, whether in an academic or career setting. To remain in the program, the participants must maintain an overall grade point average of 2.5 and have a good attendance record at school. If an Explorer is having a difficult time in a particular subject, they receive tutoring from their peers and direction from their advisor.
In addition to their typical duties, the Explorers participate in a number of community events. The Downey Christmas Parade, ARC Walk, Wilderness Park Fishing Day, Driving Under the Influence Checkpoints and our annual Easter Egg Hunt are examples of the types of events they are asked to participate in. During these events the Explorers are given an opportunity to assist as representatives of our Department.
When our Explorers reach the age of eighteen they are typically seniors in high school. At this point they are given the opportunity to apply for the Position of Police Aide with the Police Department. This is a paid position that allows our Explorers the opportunity to continue their involvement with our Department. This is a competitive position and the number of opportunities fluctuates with the availability of funding. Many of our successful Police Aides have remained in school while working in this capacity and have gone on to serve as Police Officers for the City of Downey.
I hope that this letter has served as a brief introduction to our Explorer Program. I would invite any further questions or
suggestions for improvement that you may have. Please contact me if you would like to apply to our program.
Sergeant Maria Villegas