The O’Fallon (Missouri) Police Explorer Post is a career-focused group for high-school aged young people who have an interest in law enforcement. The group sponsored by the O’Fallon Police Department and chartered by Learning for Life / Boy Scouts of America helps young people aged 14 ½ to 21 gain insight to a possible career path by being directly involved in the career they seek.
The O’Fallon Police Explorer Post meets bi-weekly to learn and perfect various aspects of police work to prepare for future competitions. Explorers are involved in the community by assisting the police department with a number of duties.
Each even numbered year the post participates in competitions in various locations across the country. In 2014 we went to Indiana State University. During these week long competitions, the Explorers are exposed to others who like them love law enforcement and make connections with various federal law enforcement agencies who put on the training. Explorers from other area posts often become good friends through this connection.
In odd-numbered years, our Explorers participate in an intensive Explorer Academy held at a local college campus where they stay and live together with others for a week. There they undergo police academy style training.
In addition to the preparation for competitions, they learn by doing. By being involved in their community, they learn a sense of what it’s like helping others, and they grow as a person. Police exploring is more than a club, it is a way of life preparing a young person for that future career of serving the public.
The most popular part of any explorer program is the ride-a-long program. Once qualified, an explorer gets first hand information into the job of a police officer by actually riding along in a police car. In the law enforcement profession and in scouting one motto stands above the rest – “Be prepared,” and as such explorers are required to complete training before being able to participate in the ride-a-long program.