The purpose of Law Enforcement Exploring is to provide young adults who may be interested in a career in law enforcement with a comprehensive program of training, competition, service and practical experiences. Character development, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism are integral components of the overall program. Through their involvement in the program, Explorers develop an awareness of the purpose, mission and objectives of law enforcement agencies. The support of the chief executive officer of the agency, along with a dedicated cadre of law enforcement professionals and adult volunteers who provide adult leadership, is essential to the success of any Post. Although Exploring depends on volunteer leadership, professional Exploring/Learning for Life executives are available to provide assistance and support.
- To provide a program of training that educates young adults on the purpose, mission and objectives of law enforcement agencies.
- To provide an opportunity for service, practical experiences, competition and recreation.
- To help prepare Explorers become better citizens and community members through character development, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism.
Several approaches are used to achieve the objectives of Law Enforcement Exploring. One of these is regular meetings at which representatives of various law enforcement agencies (federal, state, county, and local) provide Explorers with training and practical, hands-on, activities.
Another approach is the Ride-Along program. At the discretion and direction of the agency, Explorers can observe firsthand patrol operations and community policing. Law Enforcement Exploring has defined criteria within this document that will serve as a guide to developing agency policy and standard operating procedures for the Ride-Along program. These criteria serve to maintain the effectiveness of the field officer, while at the same time provide for the safety of the Explorer.
Ideally, the program for a Law Enforcement Explorer Post should include a combination of educational/training, practical, competitive and recreational activities. It is through such activities that Explorers are able to broaden their understanding and knowledge of the law enforcement profession in general and learn the challenges and rewards of providing police services in their own community.
Many departments use Law Enforcement Explorers to assist in such areas as crime prevention, traffic/crowd control, recordkeeping, and telecommunications. These forms of assistance are always conducted under the supervision of law enforcement officers and serve to demonstrate that Explorers can be beneficial to the agency and the community.
A well-managed Law Enforcement Explorer Post can have a positive influence on the department and the community through demonstration of the many valuable contributions that can be offered by Explorers. Exploring provides the law enforcement profession an opportunity to further an investment in its own future through constructive relationships with young adults contemplating a career in the field of criminal justice.
The adult and youth leadership of new Posts are encouraged to contact established Law Enforcement Explorer Posts in the area for guidance and assistance in developing their own Post. Most progressive Law Enforcement Explorer Posts will freely offer advice and share program information with new Posts. Many Law Enforcement Explorer Posts over the years have joined together to form local, regional and state Law Enforcement Explorer Associations in an effort to offer mutual assistance, exchange program ideas, share training opportunities, engage in competitive and recreational events, and conduct other activities for the betterment of Law Enforcement Exploring. These associations, known by many different names, have as their common purpose the promotion of Law Enforcement Exploring or other related activities. It is important to note that Law Enforcement Exploring recognizes only those associations that have been certified by the national office as operating in accordance with established policy and procedure.