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California Highway Patrol Explorer Program: “Start young and begin to make a difference”
By Sentinel News Service
Published December 10, 2015
(courtesy photo)

CHP Explorer Smith, CHP Explorer Phillips, CHP Explorer Wilkins, taken at the CHP Academy during the Physical Training Run Test. (courtesy photo)

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Explorer Program is a unique and challenging opportunity that allows young men and women (ages 15-21) to be an integral part of the Department’s operations and experience what a career in law enforcement is like.

Explorers are trained in many aspects of law enforcement and they work with officers in the field as they patrol the streets and highways of California.

Some of the activities Explorers participate in are ride-alongs with officers in the field, DUI checkpoints, CHiP’s for Kids Toy Drive, learning the basics of traffic control, Explorer competitions amongst other Explorer Posts from various agencies, medical / first aid training, physical fitness training, weekly Explorer post meetings, assisting with clerical duties at the Area office, community service, and organized fundraising.

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The Explorer competitions are a high point of training; it provides participants with the opportunity to compete against other Posts for trophies.

(courtesy photo)

Asst. Chief Watson with CHP Explorer Jones, taken at the CHP Academy, Level III graduation. (courtesy photo)

The competition takes a considerable amount of preparation time, effort, and training; preparation begins months in advance and certain Explorers are specifically trained for certain events.

Competitions consist of law enforcement scenarios including, but not limited to, building searches, Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) entries, foot pursuits, patrol car driving courses, felony traffic stops, DUI stops, shooting skills and athletic events.

Some of the benefits of the Explorer program include the development of prospective CHP cadet applicants. Successful completion of the Explorer program opens many doors and presents many opportunities, especially for an Explorer who is planning to make the CHP a career.

Once the application is submitted, and a thorough background check is completed, the prospective Explorer Cadet will be required to attend three academy levels within the first 18 months. These academies provide basic training for new Explorer Cadets. During the training period, Explorer Cadets will cover a number of different skill areas, which include radio codes, patrol vehicle operation, traffic control, and a variety of other subjects all geared toward preparing an Explorer for the CHP Academy.

(courtesy photo)

CHP Explorer Beckton, CHP Explorer Beckett, taken at the CHP Academy, during the Level III-Explorer Training, DUI Class. (courtesy photo)

The minimum requirements to become a CHP Explorer are;

  • Be between 15-21 years of age.
  • Have an interest in law enforcement.
  • Have at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • No drug or alcohol use.
  • Have good citizenship.
  • Have no felony convictions.

The mission of the CHP Explorer Program is to develop young individuals into responsible and productive citizens through discipline and a commitment to serve their community.

The motto of the Explorer Program is “Learning to serve the public with dedication and commitment.”

To get started, visit your local CHP office or visit our Web site at www.chpcareers.com or call CHP Southern Division Headquarters at (818) 240-8200.

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