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Paulding youth receive hands-on experience with law enforcement
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
March 20, 2013 02:28 PM | 1587 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the Paulding Explorer Program, from left, Assistant Director Neal Bradley, program director David Martin, and Marcus Hill, stand in front of their newly donated van.
Members of the Paulding Explorer Program, from left, Assistant Director Neal Bradley, program director David Martin, and Marcus Hill, stand in front of their newly donated van.
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The Hiram Police Department’s Explorer program recently took third place in the warrant division and fourth place in uniform inspection at Winterfest, a national Explorer competition.

The competition is hosted in Gatlinburg each year, with about 500 agencies competing, said David Martin, Explorer director.

In the warrant division, Explorers are tested on how to serve a warrant in different scenarios.

In the uniform inspection, the Explorers are judged on criteria such as matching and consistency.

Explorer is a program in which youth ages 14 through 21 can learn about careers in law enforcement, according to parent organization Learning for Life’s website.

The program has been in Hiram for the past four years, said Neal Bradley, Explorer assistant director. The officers enlist students and graduates from any high school, Martin said.

Officers teach the Explorers about laws and codes, interaction with the public and provide training on how to react in different situations.

Ten Explorers are enrolled in the program, with three undergoing the application process.

“If we had one kid it would be worth it,” he said.

Marcus Hill, 19, has been involved with different Explorer posts for five years.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved with law enforcement, and I thought this would be a foot in the door,” Hill said.

Hill is waiting to start the Georgia Northwestern Law Enforcement Academy, he said.

“It [Explorers] is an organization that has changed my life,” Hill said.

All of the officers who help with the program volunteer their time, Martin said.

“Most of our officers are involved with the Explorers as advisors,” he said.

Recently the organization had a van donated to them by the city of Hiram, which keeps the group from having to rent a van when they go on trips, Martin said.

“We have utilized it to take the kids to training of our own,” he said.

The cost for the program is a $295 registration fee for the program. The city of Hiram donates some money to help the group, but it gets most of its funding from businesses around Paulding, Martin said. GreyStone Power Corp. is the organization’s main sponsor, he said.

Though the program is focused on teaching students about law enforcement, they do not have to be planning on going into a career in the field to be a part of the group, Hill said.
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