LACSDEP Drill Instructor, Jazmine Epperson
By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
This Women’s Month, the Sentinel would like to shine a spotlight on a young woman who’s accomplished a great goal. Jazmine Epperson, 16, is a recent graduate of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Explorer Program on Jan. 29, 2011. As a recruit in Class 85, Epperson had to go through both mental and physical training throughout the program.
“It’s an 18-week course, and we do a lot of defense tactics and physical training,” said Epperson. The program also taught recruits how to learn radio codes, law and traffic enforcement. “It’s a school for explorers—learn more about becoming an explorer and how you can help out your station.”
The Cerritos High School junior gained interest in becoming a Sheriff at a young age. “I was watching a policewoman show on TV with my dad one day and I was like, ‘That looks pretty cool,’” said Epperson. “We just started finding out more information and I went to the station and I had an interview.”
The experience would place Epperson in the explorer program, which would put her and other young recruits through a 4-month program. Recruits meet every Saturday at the STAR center in Whittier, CA. Young men and women from the Los Angeles County areas, ages 14-20 are taught about Law Enforcement, leadership skills and various tasks to complete.
Recruits are put into groups of eight, which are called Platoons, with 27 recruits in each Platoon. Epperson became Platoon Sgt. On her 4th week in the program. Her responsibilities were making sure her platoon was present and that their attire was up to code. On her 12th week, Epperson became Class Sgt., which of course, entailed more duties and responsibilities. Rank was removed if one failed to meet their duties.
Epperson managed to remain Class Sgt. until her graduation from the program. She also graduated as an Honor Recruit. She demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, kept her appearance immaculate, and met her responsibilities as Class Sgt. Because of Epperson being an Honor Recruit, she will return to the academy as a Drill Instructor.
“Right now I’m a drill instructor at the academy, so I’m there every Saturday,” said Epperson. “I’m at my station, three or four days a week, doing work there along with my school work.” She plans to attend college after high school, and then attend an academy to become a sheriff.
Epperson is an honor student and enrolled in AP classes. On March 10th, the city of Cerritos will honor her and her achievement in the explorer program. She is the first Honor Recruit in the Cerritos Sheriffs Department program.
Congratulations to Jazmine Epperson and all her accomplishments!