Police Explorers Perform Like Seasoned Pros in Competition
Apr. 30, 2010
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. … Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you? All right, book him on a 411 penal code.”
From left: Officer Stacey Rotunno; Explorers Jazzy Ghouse, Dean Largey, Michael Pham, Patrick Deggs, Shelby Gibson, Dustin Nichols and Andrew Russell; Lt. Tim Dorsey; and Explorer advisor Robert Haynes.
Knowing the words and how to use them in the line of duty was just one of the skills that helped UT Dallas Police Department Explorer Post 559 win first place in the Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association state competition in Richardson on April 10.
Explorers were rated on how well they handled 12 crisis situations, as staged by such agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Judges from roughly 20 law enforcement agencies critiqued the 78 teams, which came from Explorer posts in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
The UT Dallas post, which hosted the all-day competition, took three awards.
“This (UT Dallas) Explorer post has a history of performing well in competitions and winning awards,” said Explorer moderator and UT Dallas Police Lt. Tim Dorsey. “Members also have a history of going on to successful careers in law enforcement.”
Dorsey said that about a dozen people have used the program as a launch pad to jobs at UT Dallas, including Officers Mark Routson, Karla Routson, Karl Zuber and Mike Ledbetter.
The Explorers program, an outgrowth of Scouting, gives young people the opportunity to experience law enforcement and other service-oriented fields firsthand.
UT Dallas Police Department’s Senior Public Safety Officer Virgil Robinson shows his Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association Special Recognition Award.
“There are Explorers for fire, medical and police,” said Explorer advisor Robert Haynes. “The national competition is in Atlanta this year. The last time we went [in 2008], the team won third place in Arrest, Search and Seizure, which goes from mock search warrant to the arrest.”
This year Hayes won first place in the Adult Physical Fitness Challenge obstacle course that involved exiting a police car, running through rope squares, jumping two 3-foot hurdles, shooting an air pistol at targets, dragging a 100-pound dummy during a low bridge crawl, and grabbing a battering ram and bashing open a door to handcuff a suspect.
Dustin Nichols won third place in the Non-Emergency Vehicle Operation driving contest, and Senior Public Safety Officer Virgil Robinson received the Special Recognition Award for his work with the Explorers program.
“All the members of the UT Dallas Police Department are very proud of our Explorers for their team accomplishment. I am also very proud of the work that Lt. Dorsey commits to these young adults to help shape them for their future in police work,” said Police Chief Larry Zacharias.
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