AUSTIN (KXAN) — By Michael Aaron Published: Updated:
From dangerous traffic stops to active shooters, police train for every possible scenario. Teenagers can get in on some that training through law enforcement Explorer programs. More than 200 Explorers from across the state put their skills to work Saturday at a competition in Austin.
Explorer programs through the Austin Police Department, Travis County Constable’s Office and Round Rock Police Department were among 23 departments that participated. The Explorers, who range in age from 14-20, train much like officers do. Many teens who take part say they hope to join the force and protect us all one day.
“In elementary school, it was in one of those after school program and there was a lockdown ’cause there was a gunman outside.. there was a report of a gunman outside,” said APD Explorer Nathan Willis. “I remember the teachers just calming down and saying the police are here. And they looked so calm. I turned around. I saw these guys with these big guns. But, you know, it didn’t scare me. It made me feel safe and then ever since I’m like, you know, I want to provide that.”
Explorers demonstrated how to handle a number of situations Saturday, including active shootings, traffic stops, gang activity, crisis negotiation and domestic disturbances.
Exploring is a nationwide program affiliated with Learning for Life. Click here for more information.