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Haines City Police Explorers are spending their first week off from school getting hands-on experience in the many facets of law enforcement.
Explorers are taking part in the Polk County Sherriff’s Office’s Ride-Along Academy, which lasts from Monday through Friday. Each day, the Explorers will learn or brush up on a new skill related to law enforcement.
Different venues throughout the week include the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s Training Center, the Central County Jail, Polk State College’s Center for Public Safety and campuses of both Tenoroc and Lake Region High School. The program lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
The Explorers will have the opportunity to learn from Polk County Sheriff’s Office personnel with specialized expertise. The Ride-Along Academy will further the Explorers’ knowledge of K9 handling, CPR, emergency communications, special divisions and SWAT among other things.
“I think the Explorers having the opportunity to get this type of learning experience from some of the best in the law enforcement business will benefit these kids immensely,” said David Heptinstall, a school resource officer with the Haines City Police Department. “To be able to step back and watch as they learn and as they grow has been a really rewarding experience.”
The Explorers is an affiliate program of the Boy Scouts of America and is open to both males and females from ages 14 to 21. Those interested in joining the Haines City Police Department’s Explorers program can pick up a packet at the Haines City Police Department, 35400 U.S. 27. Business hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.