The Shawnee Police Department, with the assistance of the Boy Scouts of America, will hold a “First Nighters Meeting” for the new police Explorer program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.


The Shawnee Police Department, with the assistance of the Boy Scouts of America, will hold a “First Nighters Meeting” for the new police Explorer program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The meeting serves as this month’s Citywide Neighborhood Watch meeting and will be held on the campus of Gordon Cooper Technology Center. Boy Scouts will give a presentation on what being an Explorer means. Explorer is an education program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) or 15 to 21 years old. Adults are selected for advisers by the participating organization for involvement in the program.
The purpose of the Explorer program is to provide experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Exploring is based on a relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities. The Shawnee Police Department will initiate the Explorer post by matching officers and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result will be a program of activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow and develop.
“The young adults are given positive alternatives to negative youth activities, such as drug abuse and involvement with gangs. Also, they are in a safe environment for real and meaningful hands-on experiences,” said Shawnee Police Department Public Information Officer Dan Shumaker.
With Cpl. Freeland Wood coordinating the program, Officers Vivian White and Aaron Laster will act as the first advisers to help set up the program in Shawnee. “The selected applicants will attend an academy and learn about a career in law enforcement,” Wood said. “As time goes on, the kids will start leading the meetings and the adults will be advisers and just assist the youth.”
White said: “The police Explorer program is a great way for teenage boys and girls to gain leadership experience, self-confidence and character building. Today’s explorers are tomorrow’s teachers, police officers, soldiers and community leaders, so I appreciate the opportunity to educate and inspire our youth.”
The five areas of emphasis of the Explorer program are leadership experience, career opportunities, life skills, citizenship and character education. “This is a great opportunity for the young adults to make and develop contacts that may potently help with employment options and success at school,” Shumaker said.