Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Police Explorers Participate in Explorer Challenge

On Saturday, June 9th, the Overland Park Police Department participated in the Explorer Challenge. The training was hosted by the OPPD and held at the Fire Training Center (12401 Hemlock) from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

There was a total of 19 Explorers who participated in this year’s event from the Overland Park Police Department, the Olathe Police Department and the Spring Hill Police Department.

Explorer advisors critiqued the explorers as they investigated various scenario-based training exercises. Students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School served again this year as role players for each scenario.

The scenarios this year were:

• Unknown domestic disturbance

• Criminal damage to property call involving gang graffiti

• Non-injury accident

• Auto theft recovery

• Traffic stop

• Robbery call

• Mental subject call

• Building search

New to this year’s event was a target shooting scenario with simunition guns, where the winner was given the “Top Gun Award”. The award was determined after two Explorers shot a perfect score and had a "shoot out".

At the end of the day the explorers with the best scores from each department received awards for their outstanding performances.

The challenge gave the explorers the opportunity to participate in real-life scenarios and to gain firsthand experience on the daily activities of law enforcement.

The following are the qualifications to become an Explorer:

1. Must be an 8th grade graduate between 14-20 years of age

2. Have and maintain a 2.0 grade point average or higher

3. Have no misdemeanor convictions (including alcohol) in the last year

4. Have no felony convictions

5. Have a current and valid driver's license

6. Cannot be on diversion or probation.

Those who are interested in becoming an Explorer will be required to complete an application and pay a minimal fee. Overland Park residency is not required to participate. In addition, the Explorer program meets the first and third Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

If you have questions or know someone who is interested in becoming an Explorer, please contact Sgt. Melanie L. Pierce at 913-535-3041.