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Explorer program builds life skills

Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 1:11 am

A year-round program in Fayetteville, Law Enforcement Exploring is teaching teens with an interest in careers in law enforcement or the justice system the life skills that will benefit them as they make future choices.

In 2012, the Fayetteville Police Department, in partnership with Fayetteville High School, revitalized the Police Explorers.

The program is for both boys and girls ages 14-18, and both Fayetteville High School and Lincoln County High School are participating in the program. While it teaches students about law enforcement, it also is a tool for developing leadership skills and self-confidence.

While the kids are learning, the program also incorporates fun and adventure. Participation in community projects teaches teens about service, and their participation can lead to college scholarship opportunities. This guidance helps give them a sense of direction as they begin to think about career paths.

“What they saw as a dream, they’re seeing as possible,” said Sgt. Billy Brazier of the Fayetteville Police Department, one of the advisors.

The teens currently in the program are going to earn CPR certification within the next month.

In addition to Brazier, other program advisors are Drew Young, FHS criminal justice instructor and deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, and Tammy Williams of Fayetteville High School. Williams has been involved in the Exploring program since 1985 during the time she was employed with the Chattanooga Police Department.

The chief of police heads the department, Sgt. Brazier is chairman and FHS Principal Eric Jones and Detective Adam Eubanks of the Fayetteville Police Department are committee members.

“It’s a great program … you can see the difference it makes in kids,” Williams said.

Some of the activities the teens have enjoyed so far include mock traffic stops, finger printing, a field trip to the 911 center, watching the S.O.R.T. team and participating in the Prescription Drug Take Back and Relay for Life events.

“They will also take part in the Host of Christmas Past and do IDs and help with other community events,” said Brazier.

The advisors are hopeful that they can take the kids to High Adventure’s rope course, as well.

The group meets the first and third Mondays of each month for 60 to 90 minutes in the FHS Criminal Justice classroom, Room 5, at 6 p.m. The next meeting is on July 29.

The Fayetteville Police Explorers is sanctioned under Learning for Life, affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. Exploring is part of Boy Scouts of America’s Learning for Life program, and it opens avenues of vocational-based insight to other occupations, as well, such as those in health care, fire fighting, law and other areas.

For additional information about the local program, contact Deputy Young at FHS at 433-3158 or Sgt. Brazier at Fayetteville Police Department at 438-7771.