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DCSO starts Explorer program
I-Explorer program pic 4.JPG
Members of the first Explorer program within the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office had the opportunity to try on official SWAT gear as they learned more about the sheriff’s office and what they will be doing as part of the inaugural program. - photo by Jessica Taylor

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office has started an Explorer program for local high school students which kicked off with its first Night Out meeting at Dawson County High School Sept. 12.

The Explorer program is a career-oriented program that gives young adults with an interest in law enforcement careers the opportunity to work among the various components of the DCSO.

“You’re the few, the strong, the dedicated,” Chief Deputy Greg Rowan said to the students. ”That’s what we need. We need a good foundation to start this program off.”

The DCSO had an Explorer program several years ago and it was something the office wanted to reinstate and develop as a new program for 2018.

“I was an Explorer back in 1982 in Hall County,” Rowan said. “A bunch of years later here I am today and now I’m second in command of the sheriff’s office. So that kind of goes to show you that if you get a good foundation like that in law enforcement especially through the Explorer program that the world’s ahead of you. You can do what you want. That’s why I’m a firm believer in it.”

Participation in the new program will be determined by grades, school disciplinary records and overall agreement to the standards.

“We’ll try to keep it realistic, try to keep it fun and try to make you think about things on another level,” said Lt. Chris Murphy.

During the first meeting, participants and their parents learned about each component of the sheriff’s office and the potential lessons the Explorers will be learning.

Explorers will be spending time working with the communications department filing papers, learning about warrants and studying basic 10-codes used by officers and dispatchers. They will also be involved in booking and central control in the detention center.

While working with uniform patrol officers, Explorers will learn how to properly conduct traffic and write their own mock incident reports.

With the officers in the criminal investigation and sheriff’s services departments, Explorers will have the opportunity to participate in a mock crime scene, write case files, interview witnesses and testify in a mock trial.

Explorers will also be spending time with administration, in particular human resources, to learn about the office’s policies.

 “We’re basically going to work to teach you everything that we do. We’re going to show you everything that we do,” said Captain Ray Goodie. “We’ll teach you how to do everything that we do. You will perform everything that we do that’s safe to do and then you’ll probably end up teaching other people how to do what we do.”

The Explorer program will meet from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the sheriff’s office.