After two weeks of physical and mental challenges, 41 local young people representing six law enforcement agencies will graduate from the Central Coast Law Enforcement Explorer Academy on Saturday at Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria.
The young men and women, ages 14 to 20, will have a final inspection by Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown along with dignitaries from the participating agencies at 3 p.m. They will receive their certificates of completion at a graduation and awards ceremony at 4 p.m.
The Law Enforcement Explorer Academy is a worksite-based program for young men and women who are interested in the fields of law, law enforcement or public safety.
The goal of the program is to educate and involve youth in law enforcement operations, to interest them in possible law enforcement careers as well as to build confidence and responsibility.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Robertson has been involved with the program since 2007 and looks forward to graduation day.
“These explorers have earned my respect through their perseverance,” he said. “Every day they’re challenged mentally and physically to the point of exhaustion. They’re volunteers, without a paycheck for motivation to bring them back day after day. Their motivation to come back is based on their pride and determination to succeed.”
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department sponsors the program and this year had the largest law enforcement agency participation. The agencies involved in addition to the Sheriff’s Department include the Arroyo Grande Police Department, the Guadalupe Police Department, the Lompoc Police Department, the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Santa Maria Police Department.
Click here for more information on the program.
— Kelly Hoover is a public information specialist for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.