Explorers Program Gives Youth a Taste of Law Enforcement Opportunities
Mar 17, 2015 10:12AM
● By Kevin
Sgt. Daniel Sherwin always knew he wanted to be a police officer. He was one of those kids who was just always interested in law enforcement. The 48-year-old grew up in Fort Worth where he was active in Boy Scouts, rising to Eagle Scout, and where he first discovered the Explorers program. The Law Enforcement Explorer program is a national initiative to expose young people to law enforcement and encourage them to seek out a career in the profession.
Today, Sherwin is a sergeant in the Mansfield Police Department’s Community Resource Division, a team leader for the Crisis Negotiation Team and lead advisor for the Explorer Post 1601. The 26-year law enforcement veteran loves his career and serving the community of Mansfield and he’s excited about heading up the new Explorers program here.
We asked him to tell us a little more about himself, the program and how people can get involved.
Can you tell us about the Explorers program? Law Enforcement Exploring provides educational training programs for young adults on the purposes, mission, and objectives of law enforcement. The program provides career orientation experiences, leadership opportunities and community service activities. The primary goals of the program are to help young adults choose a career path within law enforcement and to challenge them to become responsible citizens of their communities and the nation. It offers hands on approach to learning many of the aspects of the Law Enforcement career without the life threatening aspects.
How did it get started? The Law Enforcement Exploring program originated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). As early as 1959, there were Explorer Posts specializing in law enforcement in Southern California.
What interests you most about working with the Explorers program? Showing youth that the police profession is an honorable one and encouraging them to go into it as a career. Setting a positive example and role model.
What cities, counties, officials and departments are involved in operating the program? Agencies from federal, state and local levels coordinate the Law Enforcement Exploring programs throughout the United States. The majority of the community programs are managed by local police departments and many federal agencies offer their support. Nationally, over 33,000 Explorers and 8,425 adult volunteers participate in Law Enforcement Exploring. The program highlights include: the National Law Enforcement Exploring Leadership Academies, ride-alongs, career achievement awards, National Law Enforcement Exploring Conferences and scholarship opportunities.
How did the Explorers program get started in Mansfield? The idea was presented to the chief of police in 2013 and he was immediately interested and supportive of the idea. It was then developed and prepared for inception as a program of the Mansfield Police Department on October 21, 2014.
Describe the development of the Explorers program to date. It began with the development of an Explorer’s manual, waivers and releases, financial planning and recruitment were all considered when planning the Explorer Post. The Post has grown to 21 members in 4 months. The youth vary in age from 14 to 18 and have participated in two city events as well as their first fund raiser. All Explorers have a Class “A” uniform that they wear proudly.
What goals and objectives are there for the Explorers program? The main goal is to get all the participants “ride along certified.” This effort involves many months of training as well as physical fitness. The Ride Along program allows members to ride with officers on duty. Another important goal is the preparation and training for state and national competition.
Are there paid and volunteered positions within the program? Who does what? A lot of volunteer time is given by police officers and civilian adult members of the post. Officers are compensated if they are on duty time while working with the post.
How is the program funded/sustained? Private donations and fund raisers. The program is not an expense to the city or the police department.
What resources are required for the Explorers program to operate? Time, as the lead advisor, the post is one of my responsibilities. Officers who work with the post do not interfere with manpower or coverage for the city.
How are you raising awareness of the Explorers program and those it serves? Our website, www.explorerpost1601.com, and at city events.
What’s a typical day like at the Explorers program? The meetings are led by the youth officers. Roll call, announcements and training are main parts of each meeting.
When do the Explorers meet? The Explorer Post meets every week on Tuesday evenings.
What’s unique about the program? It is made up of Explorers from many various cities to include, Mansfield, Burleson, Midlothian, Arlington and Grand Prairie.
Why is the Explorers program so important? It provides leadership while promoting responsibility.
What are your expectations for the Explorers program over the next 5 years? That it will grow and have a full ride along program, along with many awards and trophies from local, state and national competitions.What else do we need to know about the Explorers program? It is co-ed and we are always looking for good students and applicants ages 14 (with completion of the eighth grade) to 20 with good moral character. For more information visit the Explorer Post website, www.explorerpost1601.com, contact the Mansfield Police Community Resources Office at 817-276-4725, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Kerry Pipes
Web Extra: Extended Interview
Education: University of Texas at Arlington – Criminal Justice
Background/Training/Education: 26 years of Law Enforcement, which includes a variety of training and certifications. Attended Southwest High School and the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as Weatherford College and Tarrant County College.
Professional life: Law Enforcement
Current job title: Sergeant, Community Resource Division, Team Leader Crisis Negotiation Team, Mansfield Police Department, Explorer Post 1601 Advisor
Other related jobs/experience/career: Began Law Enforcement Career in 1988 in Lake Worth Texas serving in Patrol, SWAT, CID and as the Explorer Post Advisor. Former Forensic Death Investigator for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s District. Currently, Advanced Crisis / Hostage Negotiator. Received State of Texas Hostage Negotiator of the Year in 2006 for a Forest Hill Negotiation involving a four year old being held hostage by a suspect who shot three people.
Married: Yes; Blanca Sherwin
Children: Yes, Twin Boys
What’s the last book you read? <Decision Points> by President George W. Bush.
Where do you like to eat in Mansfield? Our Place.
Last vacation you took? To Jerusalem, Israel to visit family.
Favorite quote or advice you’ve ever received? “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?” ― Rabbi Hillel
What do you like to do in your free time? Be with my family, beautiful wife and twin 7 year old boys.
Favorite song? “Foolin” by Def Leppard.
What’s one thing you cannot do without each day? Seeing my family.
Pet peeve: Drivers who don't use turn signals.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Police officer.
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