By Mary O’KEEFE
Over the summer the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Explorers participated in the Explorer Games in Pasadena, returning home with three trophies. They won second place in crime scene investigation, third place in suspicious person and fifth place in felony traffic stop.
According to its website, the Explorer program is a Sheriff’s Department youth-oriented program. It’s primary purpose is to provide, through actual experience, a means by which young men and women may determine if they would like to pursue a career in law enforcement. The program also provides the Sheriff’s Department with additional human resources and it opens an important avenue of understanding with an energetic, concerned society of young people.
Members of the CV Sheriff’s Explorers meet twice a month in addition to going through 18 weeks of Sheriff’s Explorer Academy training.
Steven Cronkhite, captain of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Explorers, said the training and the experience received in the program is invaluable, especially for those who want to continue in law enforcement. He added the program enhances members’ academic resumes and helps when applying to college.
Several of the CV Explorers stopped by the Fire House youth center on Tuesday to talk about the program and answer any questions about what they do.
Some in the program do not plan to go into a career in law enforcement but value the discipline of the Explorers program. Those who do want to continue into law enforcement need only look as far as the CV Sheriff’s Station captain to find how the Explorers can lead to a career.
“I started with the Explorer program in 1973 at the old Montrose station,” said Capt. Dave Silversparre. “It gave me a jump start on my career.”
The captain added the program gave him an in-depth look at the career he thought he wanted. After going through the academy and the program, he learned that law enforcement was the right career for him.
“I think it allowed me to mature faster,” he said.
Silversparre agreed with Cronkhite that the program helps in college, not only on the application but in every day academics, from discipline in finishing homework to following teaching instructions.
“They require you to take notes and [instructors] examine those notes in class,” he said.
Deputy Jeff Martin is in charge of the Explorers program at the CV station. He said the program is always looking for more teens to join, both girls and boys. Teenagers from 14 to 19 years old are welcomed.
Anyone who would like information concerning the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Explorers can contact Dep. Jeff Martin at (818) 248-3464.