One of the programs that we are most proud of at the Berwyn Police Department is Berwyn Police Explorer Post #94. In fact, this year our Police Explorer program will be celebrating its 25th anniversary – congratulations to each of our current members and to all past graduates! This fabulous program is self-funded through sponsorships and is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life Division.
Berwyn Police Explorer Post #94 began in 1988 with the intention of offering police oriented training to young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 who were interested in becoming police officers or having a career in the criminal justice field. The primary goal of this program is to prepare our young students for the future, while offering an exciting career-oriented experience which places a strong emphasis on educational training to become responsible citizens in their community. The true value of the program is highlighted by many graduates who went on to become Berwyn police officers or have other careers in the law enforcement profession.
Explorer training includes a history of law enforcement; patrol procedures – with ride-along experience, basic first-aid and CPR, crime scene processing and traffic control and accident investigations. As part of their training curriculum, Police Explorers are also involved and participate with many community oriented projects and events. Some of these projects include Operation Snow Shovel, participation in parades, honor guard ceremonies and events such as Berwyn National Night Out.
This year, our Explorers are currently training for the week long competition which is being held in Springfield, IL. Currently, our department is trying to raise the $5,000 to send our Explorers to the State Conference.
As of today, we have over 30 active members and 20 just recently completed and graduated from the program. The success of this program is shown by our recent recruiting effort at J. Sterling Morton West High School. During visits to six classrooms, we had 81 students express their interest in being interviewed along with their parents to become Berwyn Police Explorers.
Please contact the Berwyn Police Department if you would like more information on becoming a member, or would like to be a sponsor of Berwyn Police Explorer Post #94.
Jim Ritz is chief of police for the Berwyn Police Department