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sheriff’s office announces Explorer post program


The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office today announced the establishment of an Explorer Post at the agency.  Although new to Chaffee County, Law Enforcement Exploring is a nationwide program comprising 30,000 young men and women throughout the country.  Sergeant Kevin Everson, under whose guidance the local chapter was formed, was a member of the Lakewood Police Department’s post as a youth and discovered his interest in law enforcement through that experience.

For the past nine months, eleven young men and women, ages fourteen to twenty-one, have been riding with deputies and attending a wide variety of training including CPR certification, traffic enforcement, officer safety, building searches, arrest control and firearms safety.  Character development is stressed as well, and participants are exposed to lessons in leadership, teamwork, and accepting responsibility.  The post and participants are fully registered with the national organization, Learning for Life, that provides guidelines, policies, resources and liability insurance.

Youth Explorers are young men and women interested in learning more about law enforcement firsthand.  The program also provides the sheriff’s office potential future cadets to those who later decide to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Organization of the Explorer Post is along traditional lines with a captain and two team leaders selected from the participants, thereby providing a model chain of command.  Sergeant Everson and Deputy Jesse Cortese are advisors and a committee of local civilian members provides additional support and guidance.  Committee chairman Lyn Berry is assisted by committee members Kevin Wagner, Venus Phillips and Bonnie Francis all of whom volunteer their time for the program. 

The minimum requirements to join the program are

  • A current high school student from grade eight through twelve;
  • At least fourteen years old;
  • Maintain an acceptable attendance record at school;
  • Maintain a 2.3 GPA or better;
  • Cannot be a suspect in any criminal investigation;
  • Cannot be on probation/diversion;
  • Cannot have any felony or domestic violence convictions; and
  • No current alcohol or drug abuse.

Applicants must provide at least two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher or school principal and one other from a non-family member source, and the names of three personal references.  In addition, the applicant must be willing to submit to a background investigation.

Undersheriff John Spezze said of the program, “This gives us the opportunity to promote ethical and professional standards among young persons who may later enter our profession, increases understanding of our culture even with those who go on to other ventures, and is just one more way of providing interaction with the community we serve.” 

Anyone interested in learning more about the program or to request an application is encouraged to contact Sgt. Everson at Keverson@chaffeesheriff.org.