After two weeks of physical and mental challenges, 23 local young people representing six law enforcement agencies will graduate on Saturday from the Central Coast Law Enforcement Explorer Academy at the Dick DeWees Community Center, 1120 W. Ocean Ave. in Lompoc.
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 1:30 p.m. They will receive their certificates of completion at a graduation and awards ceremony at 2 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 Department Explorer Leah Urzua, 17, of Santa Barbara said she will be proud to graduate on Saturday.
“We have learned about teamwork, integrity and how to be accountable," Urzua said. "I know it will help me in my future. I originally signed up for this program for community service hours and found through this experience my passion to be in law enforcement grew.”
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department sponsors the program and this year had five Explorers participate. 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 Morro Bay Police Department and the Santa Maria Police Department.
Click here for more information on the program.
— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.