Scouts graduate from Explore academy

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 14, 2004
Law Enforcement Explore Post members have gotten a taste of what police academy life is like.
The Explore program is part of Boy Scouts of America. Seven members of the Explore Post, sponsored by the Meridian Police Department, graduated July 3 from the Gulfport Police Department Explore Academy.
The week-long academy trains Explore Post members in firearms, search and seizure techniques, hostage negotiations, white-collar crime investigations, interviews, patrol operations and how to respond to domestic disputes.
Participants also learn about leadership, law enforcement history and cultural diversity. Each year, the academy hosts 300-400 Explore members associated with police departments throughout the United States and Scotland Yard.
Senior Police Officer Ricky Roberts, with the MPD's K-9 Unit, has been the post's adviser since 1987. He said the post members, called cadets, have a rigorous schedule at the academy that starts with calisthenics each day at 4 a.m.
Sarah McKee, 19, of Meridian, came away from the academy with the highest scores of any female who attended this year. Her overall average was 95.26 percent.
McKee, who will begin her sophomore year at Meridian Community College in August, joined the Explore post in May. She is interested in crime scene investigation and wants to pursue a career in forensics.
She said the Explore Post is an excellent opportunity for anyone thinking of a career in law enforcement.
Young men and women ages 14-21 are eligible to join the Explore program program. Cadets train under the supervision of police, help with certain assignments and participate in community service projects.
Kevin Smith, 14, joined the post because he was considering a military career. Now, he said, he is leaning more toward law enforcement. He is mainly interested in working with K-9 units.
For more information about the program, call Senior Officer Ricky Roberts at the Meridian Police Department, 485-1893.

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