Followers

Facebook Badge

Athena Smith's Facebook profile

Monday, January 28

Tampa Officer, Teen Helper Attacked During Investigation


Tampa Officer, Teen Helper Attacked During Investigation


By THOMAS W. KRAUSE and CLAUDIA DoCAMPO, The Tampa Tribune News Channel 8 Published: December 26, 2007



TAMPA - A Tampa police officer and a teenage member of the police Explorer program were attacked while investigating a possible burglary Monday night. Both were hit over the head with a police baton during a struggle outside a vacant house at 312 Floribraska Ave., according to police reports. Fernando Lopez, who lives next door to the vacant house, said he was cooking a holiday meal with his mother when he saw a young man and woman bend back some bars on the house and crawl in through a window. "I knocked on the window and said, 'Get out of there; I'm going to call the police,'" Lopez said Tuesday. .....
You may read the whole article at

158 comments:

fporzio said...

I do not believe the minors in the Police explorer program should be allowed to actually go out on patrol with officers. They are not properly trained in what to do in dangerous situations, such as the one that took place recently. I also feel that it is irresponsible of the Police Department to allow minors to go out on patrol with officers because they are unarmed and anything could happen to them. The Police explorer program should have tighter regulations on what the explorers are allowed to do and where they are allowed to go. Overall, I think that it does not sound like the safest program; however, if the Police Department is going to have it they should be more responsible with it.

DaisyDown23 said...

I agree and disagree....to an extent I think that explorer prgrams are GREAT learning experiences and wonderful training opportunities for young adults who wish to explore the possibility of a law enforcement or even fire fighting career. However, some calls should be left to the professionals such as, in this case, a robery in progress. This not only protects the student from harm but also eliminates the possibility of something tragic happening to the explorer. I do not think the explorer program should be eliminated nor do I think it should be cut off from going to real calls. If the student is willing to take such a risk with his life with proper training, he or she can take the chance of possibly being hurt. An officer would NEVER put someone in harms way on purpose. There is also a risk of falling down stairs or being bit by a dog. Anything could happen on the job or in a learning environment. I would hope THAT wouldnt be the reason such a great learning experience is banished from our city.

gjones17 said...

I think fporzio has a good point. I also think the the police department should not allow minors to go out on patrol with them when they are completely unarmed and are not trained yet. The police explorer program should not be allowed to patrol with other police officers until the minor is certified in training and is able to carry a weapon for self protection. Otherwise, the police explorer program should only continue in the vicinity of the department. Anything could have happened to the minor in this case; therefore, I think it is one major lawsuit that could easily be avoided by only allowing trained employees to be on patrol.

APhilibert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Riley said...

I feel that the Police Explorer Program should not take place. However, since it is taking place I think that there should be some sort of waiver so that the law enforcement agencies are not liable for any sort of negligence or mishaps. A police officer has enough things to worry about let alone the safety and well-being of a Police Explorer, formerly known as high school students/minors. It is great that there are law enforcement education programs such as this one. The only problem is that minors could possibly be attacked by criminals that officers are trained to be put up against. I have not done any research but I think that these Police Explorers most likely do not have any training that deals with this aspect of law enforcement.

APhilibert said...

I think that this is a great program. So many youths have the idea that police are bad people because they see people getting busted for things they shouldn’t be doing. It’s like a parent who yells at you when you’re doing something stupid, and you get mad at the parent. I looked up the Explorers and it seems that they go through a decent amount of training including defense tactics. It doesn’t look they are armed with any sort of protection, and it would probably be more wise to equip them with pepper spray. The problem with that is that there would probably end up being some sort of legal action if an Explorer was to use it, being that they are not actually law enforcement. I think that the program is great. It is unfortunate that the young Explorer had to get hurt, but it is one of the risks that comes along with the job.

boolah said...

I think the Explorer program sounds like a great experience for kids who are interested in the law enforcement field. However, I don’t think it’s a great idea to responding to calls dealing with dangerous circumstances such as burglary or domestic disputes and such. Many things could go wrong at what would seem to be the simplest of calls. In this article it says that Lopez threatened to call the police, it never says that he did. Lopez says that he waved down the passing cop. So the way that I understand this article is that the cop was waived down, and then approached a dangerous situation unknown to him, with a student. I am not saying anyone is at fault, I just think better judgment could have been used by the officer at the scene. Shouldn’t the officer be aware of the situation they are entering with a minor before hand?

mdowd said...

I think the program is a great one, save for one flaw. Minors should not be allowed to go on ridealongs, regardless of their records, grades, parental consent, or any other factor. A police officer's job is difficult enough without having to babysit a 14-18 year old kid while dealing with situations like the one in the article. I understand that the kid wanted to help, but about the only things that he was capable of doing in that situation was calling for backup on the radio, and getting his own face beat in. unfortunately, he got the latter. Suppose it wasn't the baton that the criminal got a hold of, but rather the gun. What happens to the kid then? I don't mean to belittle the danger that the officer faced, but at least he is an adult with some training behind him that prepared him for situations like this. The idea that young people are able, and willing, to assist the police is applaudable. However, it does nobody any good to place children directly in harm's way like this. Have them stick to the later parts of the program description: " assist in records, crime analysis, communications, and other areas of the department." I hope that any family with a young person interested in the program has a chance to hear about this before deciding to give their consent for the ride along portion. In their position, I couldn't imagine giving mine.

mdowd said...

boolah made a good point when this was said:" In this article it says that Lopez threatened to call the police, it never says that he did. Lopez says that he waved down the passing cop." I do not know what if any criteria are used to determine which calls these "Explorers" are allowed to go on, but that rienforces my point that they should be allowed on none of them. Any officer is bound by his duty to respond to a citizen's call for assistance. He or she can't simply say, oh, sorry you're in trouble but I've got an Explorer here, so you should wait till another car can get to you. No, he has to respond. It's an unfortunate fact that both of these people got hurt on this call. Even more unfortunate, to me anyway, is that one of them should have never been in a position to.

phildo888 said...

the police explorer program seems like a waste of time. all they do is tag along and watch cops. if they go to actually become a cop they will act only as the cops they teamed up with. they will not develop their own style or sense of the law and they will think they are better than most when they go to actually school and study criminology. it might actually cripple them school wise because they think that they know everything so why should they listen to a teacher when they have been there already. if they want to be cops they should go to school and apply for the academy. kids getting attacked is unusual and the least of the explorers programs. it should be permanently shut down.

DaisyDown23 said...

If an explorer waited until they were certified and trained to handle these situations and carry a weapon...wouldnt that make them a police officer?

mdowd said...

daisydown, are you saying that police officers should get their training on the job?

DaisyDown23 said...

No. Some people have suggested that the program would be better if the explorers had more training and were authorized to carry a gun...and I was wondering to what extent would an explorer have to go through as far as training goes. If they are trained to handle all the situations police officers handle and are aloud to carry a weapon I dont see where the line would be drawn between a police officer and an explorer at that point.

Avon said...

I think this is a great program for teens thinking about law enforcement. I knew people who went through this program and had positve result. This program can help keep kids stay out of trouble. This was one of the bad things that can happen with this program. Any time you working with the police you can be put in harm way. I think progams like ride along and reserve officers help more people understand what cops see day to day.

mdowd said...

Okay. yeah, I agree with you there. I don't think that weapons training should be a part of the program whatsoever. The whole idea of this program, as I understand it anyway, is to give young people a limited view of what the day involves for an officer, not to make them into officers. I can't say enough how bad an idea I think field experience is for a minor. The training program an officer goes through is in place for a reason: its a dangerous job. I just feel like there is no reason to expose a minor to those dangers, or compromise an officer's safety by adding to his responsibility in that way.

DaisyDown23 said...

I agree and respect your descision to a certain degree. I completely understand your point of veiw and that is a negative aspect of the program. However I think the learning experience and the opportunity to be a part of what these hard working men and women do everyday is phenomenal. Hopefully this situation will create some sort of balance between saftey while keeping the hands on learning as a part of the program.

Stevie-D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stevie-D said...

This is another complex issue.

The common reaction to such a story so focused on an unusual accident is one of shock and outrage. The nature of the story would seem to direct negative or biased attention against the Tampa Police Explorer program or the Tampa Police Department's policies.

However, this incident provides an opportunity for one to stop and think logically about all the elements of such a situation:

- This 16 year old* Explorer must have had to sign a waiver that included such unusual events, which if he signed would be an indication of not only his awareness of the danger, but a willingness to take responsibility for such an event.

- According to Sheriff's Deputy William Cooper, a graduate of the Explorer Program, the program "is a great program that allows the kids to learn about the police work and field" and, "gives them a taste to see if they like to do that kind of work." If unreasonably "sheltered" from the more dangerous aspects of law enforcement, would it not be a false representation of the job? Would such squeamish trainees be the future of our law enforcement protecting our population?

- "Technically, on a call like that, were there was a possibility that a suspect may still be there in a house, the explorer should have stayed in the car," says Deputy Cooper. Knowing the officer was in a fight, and wanting to help, the Explorer ran to his aid and suffered the consequences. The officer was not "using" the teen as backup, nor forcing him to assist in the arrest.

- From another account cited at the end of this comment, we know that the Explorer was available to secure the officer's handgun during the struggle. If the teen had stayed in the squad car, or if the Explorer program had prohibited him to be there at all, could Tampa be mourning another loss of a fine police officer?

Florida's branch of the national Police Explorer program has been established since 1971*. Their policies have undoubtedly been revised and amended for the full 36 years. Those who are prone to quickly find fault will seldom accept the reality of what has worked effectively for hundreds of thousands of prior cases.

* Age of Explorer can be verified at: http://tommyosh.blogspot.com/2007/12/officer-explorer-attacked-in-tampa.html
For more information on the FAPE, please visit: http://floridaexplorers.com/aboutus.shtml

note: Next time, it might be to our advantage to respond to a more direct question versus a "what are your thoughts on..." question. That might tend to invite indirect, easy answers.
Thank you!

Chris Potts said...

Now, I believe it is time for me to interject here. Hello, I am Major Chris Potts of the Tampa Police Explorers, one of your class mates. I am ride along certified, and I've been in situations like these. What I will do here is try to address some of the concerns you have been putting out. Minors are only allowed to ride during the day time, from 6am-2pm. The likely hood of the officer and his explorer meeting the 3 percent of the population that are willing to actively engage you is very minimal. The probability of meeting the 1.5 percent that will attempt to kill you to get away is even less. The fact that this young man (who is a great explorer, might I add) met this guy is simply staggering to me. But I digress, the next issue I noticed was the lack of training we receive. The explorers are young people geared towards become law enforcement officers, we receive the same training that real officers get. We've been to defensive tactics, we know how to clear suspected buildings, we know how to properly handcuff an individual and execute proper pacification techniques. We have the training we need to get the job done and assist full time police officers, our brothers and comrades. In this situation Daisy, the young man was indeed on the sidelines viewing this all take place, but the fight spilled out into his vicinity. Now I ask this to you all as human beings, not as an "explorer" or a "police officer." If you saw a person getting killed in front of you, what would you do? If I never even heard of the explorer program, I think I would try to make sure this guy just trying to do his job goes home to his wife and kids. Another thing I noticed, explorers sign a waiver when they become ride along certified, exempting the department from being sued. A note on the armament of a police explorer, we are allowed to carry the expandable batons that full time officers employ. I don't know if you guys are aware of the effectiveness of these things, but... needless to say we're pretty safe. But the old saying goes: Don't bring a knife (or in this case a baton) to a gun fight. Yes Riley, explorers have training in practically every aspect of law enforcement. From the paperwork to the defensive work.

Phildo, explorers don't just "ride along with cops" there chief. We assist in all aspects of their job. The police department holds this program in high regard because of the effectiveness and "classic police work" we employ.

Certain things this article chose to omit I can shine some light on. As someone mentioned, it does tend to shine some "negative light" on the program. When the explorer understood the situation that this man was going to kill the officer, he did what he could to SAVE ANOTHER HUMAN'S LIFE and tried his best to knock the man off the officer. The man then took the baton and slammed him right in the forehead with the handle. From here the subject dropped the baton and the explorer proceeded to take the baton and try to beat the person off the officer. After a few seconds, the officer was able to get the upper hand and put him in a hold until backup arrived. Which was mere seconds after this. To be frank, someone would have died if this explorer did not get on the radio and yell for assistance. Then muster all his force to truck this individual. The man was twice the officer's size... if he was flagged down as a single unit, I'll leave it to your imagination how this would have went down.

I'm a senior explorer to this guy, and from my experience during each shift ranging from days to midnights, I must say again that I was completely surprised this happened. This is like one in a million chance, guys. Most of our ride along certified explorers are above the age of 18, and understand just what to do if something happens. Be it hide and get on the radio, or jump in and save someone's life, we're prepared for the damage we may take.

In the hospital, Police Chief Hogue personally visited the explorer and thanked him for his efforts in saving the officer's life. The explorer's response? "Sir, I wanted to ask you if I could ride again tonight."

I for one, am highly proud of this young man. He's an explorer, and he did his duty. But above all else, he's a good human being who helped another human being go home that night.

If you have any questions that you think would be better brought up in person, I sit in the very back, spikey hair, dashing good looks, never taking notes. :)

Chris Potts said...

By the way, my grammar sucks.

missmeliss said...

I can not say that I agree, nor disagree on the subject matter. But I can say that I think it is a good idea for adolescents who want to be a police officer sees how the occupation really is at hand. The Police Explorer Program shows teens the duties and responsibilities an officer must overtake, and it can be a good reference to youths upon entering a criminal justice college program and/or internship. On the other hand, I do not think that police officers should take the teens to unpredictable situations such as this one stated in the article. Sure, nobody knew that the situation was going to be thrown off into an erratic dispute, but I just think that minors should not be conducted into a type of situation that puts them into danger. Therefore, if they want to continue with the Police Explorer Program, then they might want to keep the crime scene visits to correctly trained police officers only.

Chris Potts said...

Also, guys every situation is unpredictable. You can walk up to a citizen and just ask him how his day is going and it can erupt into a six car pile up happening right next to you. That's part of the job. Every call is different, you just need to be prepared and aware of everything. Also, I like the range of comments this received. From the positive ones to the negative ones, they all bring up great points. I'm glad I'm a class with such a diverse group of people!

mdowd said...

chris potts, i appreciate your insight as a member of this program. thanks for curing my ignorance regarding the training recieved by explorers. however, while i do feel a bit better knowing that training does occur, i still do feel like this is a chance that does not need to be taken. i respect the actions of this young man, and as i learn more about this situation, i see that he did indeed play an important role in keeping the officer from being injured farther or killed. i still feel that it isn't a situation a 16 year old should be in, but i do agree that in this instance it worked out better than an officer dying.

Athena Smith said...

Chris
Thanks for moderating this discussion. It is your post after all and we all appreciate your knowledge on the subject.Hope in the future you will contribute more articles relating to police programs or problems.

Class
I can verify that Chris never takes notes! :((((

Stevie-D. Thanks for the links!

Athena Smith said...

Question
Do you get girls in the program Chris?


Comment
My opinion on this (usually I do not give opinions but in this case Chris is the moderator so I I feel comfortable in sharing my thoughts):
The program is definitely innovative. It certainly gives someone first hand experience and the explorers may serve as role models to their peers. Most importantly when teenagers are involved in such programs they manage to promote positive images of their peer group to the rest of us who have been subjected to negative stereotypes.

What I am uncomfortable with is the fact that a sixteen year old is allowed to sign a waiver. Just a thought! :))

Lucretia said...

I’m neutral on the subject. It’s fine if kids want to do that, it’s a great way to stay out of trouble and learn something. On the other hand, it’s dangerous and a police officer’s job should not be taken lightly. I don’t see anything wrong with what happened in this situation. If you were in the Explorer’s shoes, what would you have done? Whatever, it’s unfortunate that it happened; at least no one got killed. I have never even heard of this program before until now, and if there are people out there who want to pursue a career in law enforcement, then that’s great there’s something out there for them. So it’s fine with me for these people to go about what their doing, I don’t care. Let them sign up for it if they want to take the risk. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea; I can just watch Cops and be satisfied. Some aspire to really be officers of the law. It’s cool.

Chris Potts said...

Yes girls are allowed accepted in the program, ma'am. In fact, one of my supervisors is female, she's a corporal and is in charge of a group of people. Also, about that waiver, you must get it notarized and if under the age of 18 get it signed by a parent.

Lucretia, that's good how you feel about it. Just like you said, it's just some people's cup of tea and not others. We don't take the job lightly, I'm amazed at how people's attitudes change on ride alongs. I was with an officer at the police station one day and I ran into another explorer on a ride along, my gosh he was like a different person. Usually when I see him he's all joking around and everything, but when he was with his officer he was all about the business. Ride along certification in the explorer program is a very high honor, and we don't just let anyone do it.

As mentioned, it is a dangerous situation most of the time. I would feel responsible if I approved someone to be ride along certified and they take NOTHING seriously. The minor involved in this incident is just a young man that acts above his age, so he was certified for day shifts.

I wish it was myself or another explorer above the age of 18 that got involved in this fight, you can tell how effected the poor guy is by the incident. Things like this do sometimes have a silver lining on the rain cloud, though. He seems far more mature than he was before (which I thought was impossible, since he was already an excellent leader) and his confidence has boosted.

And you can't see the big ol' watermelon he developed on his forehead anymore, lol! :P

countrygirl said...

I think that the Explorer programs are a great idea. They give young people the opportunitity to see if that is a field that they might be interested in going into. I was a Firefighter Explorer for a couple of years and I loved it. There was weekly training, which allowed us to interact and train with the firemen. We were able to participate in events that the firehouse was conducting. We learned safety techniques, practiced with the equipment, and learned about teamwork. There were restrictions though, the Explorers did not respond to calls with the firemen and were not allowed to ride on active engines. The Police Explorer program is along the same lines. They get to experience training and practice techniques. I think that if they are allowed to ride along with the officers, that is the only way to really see what you are getting yourself into. I think that the Explorer should have called for backup and not emerged from the car. Someone mentioned that if an officer has an explorer with them, that they should not respond to dangerous crimes. In the article in should nothing about them responding to a call. It said that Lopez was going to call the police, but saw a patrol car and he got the attention the officer. They did not respond to a call at all. It was right place, right time kind of deal. I think that the Explorer program is a great learning tool, but maybe needs a few more guidelines.

Chris Potts said...

Hey Countrygirl, I just noticed what you said about staying in the car. Unfortunately in this situation, if the explorer remained in the car the officer would have been murdered. Usually though, like you said... in these high risk situations Explorers are highly encouraged to stay back out of the way and let the officer do his business. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just be an excellent witness. We strive to make this point all the time with the explorers. Also, the explorer did call for backup, during the scuffle the officer told the explorer to "clear the gun clear the gun! Call for backup!" which he did through the radio, which makes the response time of backup even faster. Even with backup en route, the officer was in a losing battle. From my previous posts though, the battle soon turned.

I can even say myself from my own ride alongs, that different situations call for different needs. I've been in instances where I just needed to stand back and keep my eyes open to be a good witness for the investigation, others I needed to step in before things got too thick. Police work is all about making the right decision at the right time. Thank God that the explorer made the right one here. Police funerals are one of the worst things you can ever go to. :(

vulcan925 said...

This is kind of a strange situation. I believe that exposing minors to crime-fighting techniques in programs such as the Explorer program is a good deterrent against crime. However if this comes at the risk of the minor's safety, then perhaps it is a bad idea. If you were seventeen once again, and you were invited to partake in a drug bust, would you accept? Take into account the risks; those being busted may be extremely violent, they may even have weapons, and if they choose to use the weapons, the bullets or whatever else, will not discriminate between cop and civilian. Those being busted believe everyone busting them is a cop. On the flip side a minor will see the horrors of such crimes like drug-dealing and think of ways prevent themselves and/or others from joining such activities. So do I agree that we ought to have such programs? Not really, I believe the risks outweigh the benefits greatly. It's alot safer for minors to see these horrors on videotapes geared towards crime prevention rather than having them partake in it. I don't think too many adults would really want in on such dangerous duties themselves, let alone their kids.

Ro-twin said...

I think the police explorer program is a good idea because most kids growing up think of police officers as bad individuals. I didn't know there was such a program. I remember growing up i wanted to be a police officer. I wish i knew about that program because it helps teens figure out what's the purposes of law enforcements and sometimes shape teens to be in the law enforcement field. But, i do not think teens should be out after dark exlporing with officers because it is very dangerous think GOD the burgular only was able use the baton. So, the police department needs to re-evaluate their progarm to make it more safe. Maybe even having two officers on duty when taking teens on a explore of their day of work.

Pamber said...

I have mixed feelings on the police explorer program for juveniles, both against and supporting the program. My thoughts are perhaps the officer who has a juvenile ride along should be unable to answer calls that may become violent such as burglaries and domestic violence cases. Although it maybe impossible to predict weather a call may become dangerous. Therefore, maybe the juveniles should be put through a self-defense class before entering the police explorer program or be forced to stay in the car when an officer responds to a call. But on the other hand, this program is for those interested in pursuing a career as a police officer to see what the jobs all about, so the juvenile in this case was able to experience first hand a “bad day” in the shoes of a police officer. Technically the juvenile explored the job as a police officer learning it is not always safe or easy, and can be at times a life threatening and dangerous career. So therefore, the police explore program still served its purpose.

Chris Potts said...

well I seem to be noticing a pattern here, no one's really reading everyone else's responses, thus a lot of repeating. Please reference to my responses for further information people! :D

Live Your Life said...

I actually have no knowledge on this subject. I had no idea that civilians rode along side with cops. So i'm going to trust Chris on this issue. Now in my situation where, as a minor I was almost arrested not once but several times, I think a program like this one would have really benefited me. I realize that the program isn't a punishment, but if I had been involved with then I would have gotten my life back on track a lot sooner then I had. So i guess not only do I think that the program is good but it could possibly be used as a positive expeirence to help wayward minors realized the consequences of their actions. Since my days of delinquency I have gained a huge respect for law enforcement officers, and anyone who is pursuing that job, because not only do they to deal with the more obvious, dangerous parts of their job but also they have to arrest young girls and boys who just took a wrong path. As a nursing student I know that dealing with the young and innocent really tears at your heart so I assume it must do the same for police officers.

jadams05 said...

I believe its good trainning that a person can go out and actually witness crimes. But on the other hand its dangerous do to the fact that the person is nor trained and has no idea in what to do in those situations. They could git severly hurt in a situation like that. So this has its negative and positive sides to this. I think they should not because of the risks.

sweetklo020 said...

The police explorer program is a neat program. Especially for people who want to become a police officer. This program gives them the chance to see an officer in action and make sure if they think the job would fit them. I don't agree with taking the explorer to a place where there could be danger. Many people do not have to ride along with a cop to know their job is dangerous. Police have enough priorities while taking on a job dealing with criminals. I don't believe they should have to worry about another innocent life along with their own. Police are trying to keep themselves safe and put the criminal in jail. I think the police explorer program is a great program but there should be limits where the explorers are allowed to tag along.

Mony88 said...

Although there are many police explorer programs, this does not mean they are a good idea. If teenagers are interested in becoming a cop they should take a class or go to a seminar. This incident just proves that these teens don’t need to be with the cops on the streets. All this does, is put these people in danger and put the police officers in awkward predicaments. Maybe if the police officer was alone he would have called for backup immediately, and that backup would have been there to stop this incident before it even started. This incident just proves that civilians have no place riding along with officers that must focus on their job and tasks at hand.

kel1ove said...

I think the Police Explorer Program is extremely useful. My boyfriend used to be in this program for years and he learned a lot of things he still applies to his life today. They not only educate the girls and boys in it, but also train them to be prepared through boot camps and actual experience, just like the kid was probably getting. Also, you can get a lot of community service through the program as well… So it not only benefits the people taking it, but also the society.
I am sure the boy with the Officer was with him under permission and they were following the rules. It was just an unlucky situation that they happened to get pulled into. I agree with Chris Potts when he said that of course the boy would not just stand to the side and watch as the officer was being attacked. And the fact that he was most likely somewhat trained probably made him feel more of a threat to the “bad guy” then some 18 year old witnessing the crime before his eyes.

Mafaye said...

The Police explorer program seems like a smart idea to me. Yes, it can be dangerous and you can get into bad situations, but thats what you get when you become a police officer so why not get a good idea about it and see what really happens with the job. If a police officer was driving around with friends in the car and something like this happened then thats one thing, but this program is showing people who want to be a cop what really happens in the job. Fortunatly no one was severly hurt, but atleast that kid got to see the dangers of becoming a police officer.

btex said...

I believe the explorer program is a good program. Minors should be allowed to go on patrol with police officers because if the student is interested in being a cop how else will they learn about what cops do? I also think that they should be restricted to staying to the safer communities so that instances like this are less likely to happen and if there is a call such as burglary the cop should be less inclined to answer the call. But this must be a isolated event otherwise minors would not be allowed to go on ride a longs. If the law enforcement officers are responsible with the explorers in the vehicle then the pros will far outweigh the cons.

pink blossom said...

I think the Police Explorer Program is a great learning opportunity for teenagers to explore what's really out there. Altough I do think that they should be certified before they go out there. They should be protected with at lease a pepper spray. Teenager should not be allowed on a dangerous/criminal situations like this one. It could have been avoided. On the other hand it's part of their job.

Mousie101 said...

I believe that the Explorer Program should take place. If a child is interested in learning the career let him be involved. That is like volunteering with what you love to do the most. I DO believe, however, that more supervision is needed and should take place only during the day. I do not know how many people are involved with the Explorer program, but one real police and an explorer is not enough. The child does not know what he is doing if something does go wrong, and a back-up person is needed. I support the Police Explorer Program. Every child needs to learn. It is better finding out young that police work is not a job for you, rather than spending thousands of dollars later in life and THEN find out. For example, I volunteered for a vet when I was about fourteen and discovered animals were my life’s ambition. I learned hands-on material. It may not be exactly the same thing, but children should learn fields when they are younger, even if it is a dangerous career they are interested in.

cali2119 said...

I think that the Police explorer program is a great program. The programs seems to be a successful program from what I have heard, This allows young teens to do something postive with a respected official other than be on the streets. However, I think the police explorer should not be patrolling with a police officer , and they should be kept at the police headquartes, because police officers have alot to deal with on the streets and should not have to deal with the safety of an explorer.

Athena Smith said...

I always marvel at the turnabout that I observe in some students. I was reading the comments to see that one of you had repeat problems with the law and now is back in college. Let me tell you that only a flexible tertiary educational system like ours can give you such second, third, fourth chances.
You won't find this flexibility in many other countries where the educational system is rigidly structured.
So "LIVE YOUR LIFE", make sure you stick around. We need you!

ofe22 said...

I dont agree with the Police Explorer Program because you never know what situation an officer will encounter and having another person to take care of is alot of responsibility .Police Officers are always in danger and having to make quick life saving decisions for themselves. Iam sure they have extensive training and to be reponsible for another persons life who is not trained or armed is tragedy waiting to happen. Also, what if the minor hurts another person thats alot of liability for our police department.This article is a perfect example on why its a bad idea a person at that age is may not be mature enough to handle dangerous situations .

Charles C. said...

I agree with many of the Comments, the Police explorer program is a great program for young adults who are looking to become a law enforcement officer one day. I do not personally know how the Police explorer program works, but I feel they should be trained in or at least informed about possible situations that could happen. For the safety of the teenage explore I feel that they should train him/her in the use of a fire aim or a weapon so some sort(if age allows of coarse). The teenage explorer was put into a situation that I feel he was not ready for. I agree with daisydown23 saying "that some calls should be left to the professionals in cases like a robbery in progress."

jalane88 said...

I am shocked that a minor was allowed to be on patrol with an officer. I mean, I believe that the Police explorer program probably has wonderful aspects, but I don't think the teenager who is studying with the officer needs to be on patrol with them. I could see where maybe this specific police car was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It seemed like they just happened to drive by and were flagged down. Anyways, I still think that there should be way more precautions taken when minors are involved. I could understand showing the minor the inside of a police vehicle and the equipment, but I don't see the good in taking them out on patrol.

Chris Potts said...

Being a police officer isn't just sitting in the car and turning on your sirens. Just showing an explorer how all the equipment works is ripping off an explorer on his experience. You learn so much actually being there and doing what the officer does. In our SOP it says "explorers will assist the officer in day to day activities, such as report writing, handling the radio, and investigation." What is your definition of a minor? It seems like you people think 12 year olds are going out with these officers, the explorer involved in this incident is 17 right now. Our minimum age requirement for the day shift ride alongs is 16. Evening and midnight shift ride alongs require the age of 18 and older. This is a fine example of the population's general thought process on all police officers in general. If you hear about one officer being bad at his job, you immediately label every officer as a "bad cop." Well, there's always an exception. This situation is the rarest case I've ever heard. Just because one minor got in a scuffle does not mean the entirety of the program should be shunned. I can guarantee you this wont happen again for years and years to come.

brasilenamorena said...

I agree that the explorer should have never gone on duty with the police officer. My friend was in that program just this past year and it was very vital to him in learning about what police officers do, but the situation changes when there is a risk that the Explorer could be hurt. I’m pretty sure there would be something in the guidelines that the parents of the Explorers and the police officers have to sign that would keep teenagers out of situations like those. So the blame would fall on the City of Tampa’s Police force. But also, the Explorers where obviously different uniforms than that of police officers so blame also falls on the criminal either way.

roxanita said...

Teens should be paying attention to their studies and not doing their parent’s job at that age. It’s too dangerous to have their lives at risk with out the proper training officers go through, people wouldn’t take it serious, and sometimes it could be a target. There is a difference between shadowing a person to really see what all they are doing and get the idea of the experience, and being active on duty. The thought of the system is good, but they have to think of the outcomes and be flexible about their age range.

Megan said...

I believe the explorer program is a good idea, but it needs to have safer regulations. Everyone should get a chance to shadow someone with the future career they desire. This gives them and opportunity to try out the job and make sure it is what they really wish to do with the rest of their life. However the program needs to have safety rules. Police have a dangerous job but without the proper training the explorers are not safe. The patrols the explores should be allowed to participate in should have rules to keep everyone safe. Before entering with the explorer the officer should have waited for backup. The explorer should never have needed to get involved.

Jennifer said...

Why some of you complain about sixteen year old being in such a program? If I understand it correctly the parents sigh a waiver. In this country we allow sixteen year olds to drive and frequently kill themselves. Last year more than 35000 teenagers were killed. Nobody complains about that. But if there is an incident with this program everyone gets upset.

B1ackMesa said...

I think the explorer program is nice for people who are interested in becoming police officers, but there should be limits. If you are part of this program, you are there to learn. I’m in no way saying that the child’s injuries were his own fault, but when you are a civilian with an on duty police officer in a program like this, and you respond to a call, you should STAY IN THE CAR. The student was not an officer, and therefore, should have stayed in the car and left the duty to a professional. I’m sure there are rules to this program, but I am willing to bet, “Jump out of the car, and help the officer deal with criminals” is not an allowed activity. Rules should be enforced, because like the homeowner said, "You want to help the officer, but when you see other squad cars, they don't know you. They could end up shooting you."

tampa250 said...

The police explorer may become a great an experience for the youth. But things do happen unaware like this situation with the young boy getting hit in the forehead. But I’m pretty sure the police department teaches them how to become aware of things that may happen on the street. This comes along with being a police officer things happen out of site and you have to be preparing, hopefully the young police explorers will get enof training to know how to handle certain situation like this in the future. I think they will do ok since they are getting the training now as police explorers.

Chris Potts said...

blackmesa, tampa police explorers have uniforms that look like the tampa police uniform. We wear a light blue duty shirt, with patches proclaiming "Tampa Police Explorer" patches on the biceps, we have collar brass that say "TPE" on our collar, along with a rank insignia on the other collar. Mine being Major. We also have a name tag across the left chest, and a badge. We also equip duty belts with various equipment on them. Police officers aren't that trigger happy to gun down one of their own. Officers are fully aware of the appearance of explorers and consider us part of their fold.

Tampa250, we get the same training as police officers. The explorer was fully aware of what to do in this situation with the equipment he had. His hands and his radio. He called backup on his radio, then jumped onto the suspect to get him off Corporal Hernandez.

DivineArtistStevie said...

I'm sure that the Police Explorer program is an enriching program that rewards youths with knowledge on law enforcement...but I don't think that the youth should be permitted to ride with the police on patrol. I don't think that the officer in this story meant any harm by driving around with the kid, but I do think that the situation could be avoided in the future if they tighten the reigns a bit. I think that they should not allow the kids to ride with them in the future. The whole situation was an accident and I think that now that it has happened...the Police Department will make it a safer program for kids. I'm think that they will learn from this.

Chris Potts said...

nothings going to change in the post after this. If anything, it reinstated the trust of the explorer post with the police department.

AlyssaBeene said...

I think it is a good program to have to teach young people about the law enforcement system, but i do not think that anyone under the age of eighteen should be allowed to go around with a police officer where they might get hurt. The job of the police officer is to serve and protect, but if he is burdened with the care of a minor, it might conflict with his job. A better way of using this program might be to have the explorers watch videos of the actual police in action and learn from their sucesses and mistakes.

1004 said...

This article is kind of hard to take a side on because, there are pros and cons of being part of he Police Explorer program. Of course, the pro of this program is that "students" who are wanting to be more experienced on this job will become more experienced by facing real life situations. The negative point of this program is that they will struggle a lot, like the helper in the article. I think the Police Explorer program should be given to train people to become a better police, but only under certain conditions. They should be traied more in handling real life situations, instead of being on the spot of something real. I am sure that the program will benefit many, many people but they should gain these benefits when the time is right.

WhiteChoc said...

I agree that students wishing to pursue law enforcement careers should be allowed to shadow police officers. However, allowing the student to ride with an officer while patrolling puts the student and officer in danger. It was my understanding that the student was to remain in the car at all times regardless of the matter the officer is dealing with. I understand it is human nature to try and help someone in distress in which the student may ignore the rule and get out of the car. At which point the student puts him/herself in danger, creating a more serious situation for the officer who has to handle the matter at hand and ensure the student is not injured. The duty of a police officer is not in a controlled environment which makes the explorer program a well known risk for the student. If the proper controls are in place and procedures are followed the program can be successful. It is important for the student to get a feel for the challenges they will face if they do decide to pursue that career.

bklynblog said...

The young man who was with the officer obviously wasn't prepared to handle the situation that took place that night. If they are going to have that program,i think it's the police deparment's responsibility to make sure that the minors are better equipped and ready for anything. I'm sure the officer had no idea he would end up getting into a fight that night. The kid that was with the officer did what he did out of instinct not having the training that the police officer had. There is nothing wrong with that but he could of been taught how to react more effectively.

Tara Johnson said...

I agree with the Police Explorer Program. I think it will teach the youth of our society some valuable lessons and, experiences for their future dreams of entering into the field of law enforcement. I personally have toured Orient Jail through a personal friend being a police officer and I learned a lot during that trip. I got to see inside the Cells, Booking and, Lunchroom. It really gave me an insight into how our system really works. I plan to get into the law program and, I feel that it’s important to see firsthand how the defending side works. I believe also, that being on such a youth program they should have certain rules and training for sustaining their safety in such circumstances that happened in Tampa. A lot could happen to a minor in many cases so; I think it could be a major lawsuit that could simply be stopped by only allowing trained Youths to be on watch.

JamesCowan said...

In Exodus, the youths would not be drafted until they were twenty years old. There was no mention of younger volunteers being brought into the army.

The concept of teenagers going on rides in patrol cars goes against this general belief of leaving soldiery to grown men. I think that the youth explorer program should be stopped, because all it does is open up opportunities for such incidents as this to occur. It doesn't offer very much practical experience either, so it is a "no gain - lose" situation wherein there isn't any reason to risk the youth's safety.

It would be wise to replace the youth explorer program with allowing the youths to view videos of police officers at work.

The marines turn people into soldiers by yelling at them all day long while doing the simplest and most complicated general knowledge tasks. This working under pressure makes people react properly while under pressure, instead of folding. I think the officer could have used some rougher training, and I also think that nobody should be allowed into a position of soldiery without such training.

Girl_in_the_Front said...

Although Dangerous, i would have to say that i do agree with program, because it show the student what type of things they will be getting in to when they become a real law enforcer, being a cop can be a very dangerous job. if i was to be in a program like that i would want to see some real live action, not just sitting in a car giving out tickets, when student sign up for the program they know they know what they are getting there selve into

Girl_in_the_Front said...

I would have too disagree with ofe22, the student know what type of action there getting into, this is what they want to be , and is going to have to face it later on in life!

Athena Smith said...

I think the main disagreement with the program springs from the concept that we should not expose minors to risky situations. However as a society we have been doing that. As Jennifer said, we allow them to drive when they are 16. At 18 we may send them to war. However as social beings we tend to concentrate on things that go wrong and not on things that go right. After an airplane crash we hear all sorts of analyses for days on what went wrong. Thousands of flights daily end uneventfully and successfully and nobody discusses why they went right.

foXyE77 said...

i agree with the police explorer program. Yes, it could be harmful but its true that in every situation our society only sees the bad things that make situations go wrong.That was just a bad day for the young police explorer but im sure most of his other days were a great learning experience. I mean he is the one that wants to learn and be trained and with that also comes bad experiences just as with the exciting ones.Atleast now he is going to be even more experienced and maybe can learn from the bad situation and grow from it.

Jenna said...

I do not think that the Police Explorer program has been though out thoroughly. The teens are obviously not experienced or properly trained to assist in criminal situations. I think that the idea is a good one, but there should be some basic requirements, like that there has be to be at least two police officers for a member of the Police Explorer program to accompany them on a call. This would hopefully minimize the injuries to participants that have occurred, such as the one in this article.

chiquita5 said...

This is the first I hear about the police explorer programs. How old are the kids that participate in the program? My opinion, if they are in high school meaning they are over 15 years old, then I think the program is a good idea. It seem the program was design to help kids stay in track and stay out of trouble. This program teaches the kids that doing the wrong thing has consequences and that is being arrested, ofcourse depending on the crime it could be years in jail. However, I have to agree with fporzio when he said "the police explorer program should have tighter regulations on what the explorers are allowed to do and where they are allowed to go". The program organizers need to remember they are sending kids out to the street and the priority should be the safety of those kids.

sunflower said...

I think that the national police Explorer programs provide youths a good chance to learn about law enforcement, therefore, it should not be eliminated. Also, the knowledge about law enforcement is not the knowledge that people can learn only from reading books. Practice is more important, so youths in the programs can go out on patrol with officers. However, before they go out on patrol with officers, they should be trained properly and fit some criteria. The program should be a long step by step program. Youths can go out on patrol with team of officers such as two or three, to minimize the chance to be hurt.

RoxyChic0529 said...

I think the Police explorer program is a good experience for young adults interested in law enforcement. On the contrary, I also think the minors should have to go through some kind of training and be taught and properly prepared prior to accompanying an officer out on the streets. In today's world, things are just not as safe as they used to be, and putting a young adult at risk is not smart. I do not think we should do away with this program, I just thing that there should be tighter rules and regulations for the young explorers. Police officers have a big responsibility to "Protect and Serve" the community, having another young, unarmed, untrained person to look after while on the job might not be the best thing.

JC_Lims said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC_Lims said...

Being honest, I am totally do not know about the police explorer program for the first time. But after see all the comments that have already posted and the reference from Chris Potts who has the knowledge about this subject, this program gives more positive impact than the negative one in my opinion. Young adults who interested in law enforcement can get not only knowledge but also real experience from observing what really the police officers' job is. Furthermore, they can decide whether this field is fit for them or not in the future. I assume many of teenagers stereotype cops just work to arrest criminal to get paid, but this program probably can bring another perspectives to respect the cop and can make these teenagers as a role model to others. It is sad story to know how such an accident happen to one of the Tampa officer and Explorer, but everything in this life has a risk. We can not make judgment to blame one part of neither the Tampa Police Explorer program nor the Tampa Police Department's policies for it.

araya said...

• It is in my opinion, that sometimes we learn the best and most valuable lessons in life through experience. It is close the saying, "its easier said than done." I think it is very dangerous for young kids to ride with police officers as they respond to dangerous calls, such as robberies, or any situations possibly involving weapons. I think however, it could teach valuable lessons. I am sure the explorers have to sign a liability waiver in case something were to happen to them. The police are highly trained in what they do. I do not think the police, knowing how dangerous the job can be, would subject anyone to any situation that they could not handle. It would be very careless to send an untrained cadet into the field without any knowledge or skill to protect himself or the officer. If your friend was being hurt you would not just stand there with your thumb in your mouth. I am sure police officers take an oath to serve and protect not only the community but also your fellow officer; I am sure it is the same for the explorers. Any and every situation in life is unpredictable; so to say explorers should not be allowed to go on calls that may pose a threat is pointless. So should I not ever drive my car because I might get into an accident? A routine traffic stop could turn into a high speed chase and end in a shoot out. I think the program is a good idea, as long as the explorers have the same training as the police.

araya said...

• It is in my opinion, that sometimes we learn the best and most valuable lessons in life through experience. It is close the saying, "its easier said than done." I think it is very dangerous for young kids to ride with police officers as they respond to dangerous calls, such as robberies, or any situations possibly involving weapons. I think however, it could teach valuable lessons. I am sure the explorers have to sign a liability waiver in case something were to happen to them. The police are highly trained in what they do. I do not think the police, knowing how dangerous the job can be, would subject anyone to any situation that they could not handle. It would be very careless to send an untrained cadet into the field without any knowledge or skill to protect himself or the officer. If your friend was being hurt you would not just stand there with your thumb in your mouth. I am sure police officers take an oath to serve and protect not only the community but also your fellow officer; I am sure it is the same for the explorers. Any and every situation in life is unpredictable; so to say explorers should not be allowed to go on calls that may pose a threat is pointless. So should I not ever drive my car because I might get into an accident? A routine traffic stop could turn into a high speed chase and end in a shoot out. I think the program is a good idea, as long as the explorers have the same training as the police.

awal said...

I do believe that there should be a Police Explorer program. The youth sign up for the program, knowing what tey are getting themselves into. We hear it on the news and read it in the newspapers everyday: officers getting hurt, or even killed. Although the youth DO know what they are getting themselves into, there should probably be more restrictions on the program; such as: it should be mandatory for the youth to stay in the car no matter what, and they should also be required to carry protection on the-not a gun though. Also, most of the youth that participate in the Police Explorer Program are juveniles that are wanting to become police officers; therefore, should participate in this program, and similar ones because it is real experience and real life situations, that just aren't the same when the youth are thought how to handle these situations in a academy.

Jeremy Marshall said...

I think that the explorer progam is a great experience all around. Ofcourse you wish stuff like this wouldn't happen but, come on he got to experience something that most people will never get a chance of ever experiencing. This program is a something that is a great tool for learning law enforcement and it showed just exactly what that kid was made of. He could have very easily just ran off and let the officer get beat to death, but he didn't and he saved the officer's life, this shows what kind of character that kid has. I bet any money if you asked that kid if he regreted any of that night or any of his ride alongs, he would say he loved every second of it.

tb said...

I feel that the police officers should not take minors on a patrol, if they are not old enough to have their name released in a report than they are certainly not old enough to go pick fights with drug dealers and murderers. When I was in middle school they had this explorer program and the students that were involved would have had no chance against a real criminal, I don’t imagine this “explorer” being anymore fit. Overall I feel that it was a poor decision to take a minor on patrol and then let him out of the squad car, as if he were the policemen’s backup.

Shirley said...

It is unfortunate that incident occurred, however, the reality of in "the line of duty," is just this scenario. We need programs in place like The Police Explorer, after all, our future depends on our youth. Exposure to fields such as, medical, police, military, education, fire rescue, and business careers, too.
If a small incident like this detours parents and youth from "on the job exposure," how will we as parents ever encourage our youth and then prepare them for the real world?
Like I described, in reality, when an officer is in the line of duty, he/she can be exposed to burglarers, gunman, rapists, gangs, ect.., This is life.
I am proud that there was a quick response team in place to cover, and recover the teen and troubled officer, but in todays society we see war live on TV and demonstrated to the fullest animation in our childrens game entertainment systems.
Thanks for acknowledging my views.
Shirley

msjessi said...

I think that the programs that police departments provide for minors are great opportunities to show youth just what a police officer does daily, but I do think that there should be limitations on what activities, events, and situations a youth can participate in. One thing everyone knows about police officers is that they promote safety first. With that being said, Officer Hernandez should have carefully made deeper thoughts about the possibilities of the possible outcomes of bringing a teen explorer with him to the crime scene. One never knows how well another person deals with harmful or dangerous situations. Everyone reacts different, and even though Officer Hernandez might have thought it was a creative way to show the minor what he does daily, the blame is put on Hernandez for making poor judgment by allowing the minor to be in the situation. Therefore I think it's wonderful that police officers want to keep the youth of today involved, but let's all not cross the line and get carried away. Police officers get paid to make sure everyone is safe, so police, lets not put others lives in danger!

KathleenB said...

I believe the Exployer Program was set up to Eductate teens in different career choices. Altough they have a goal, I think this was a poor decision to send a young person into the streets to help patrol, most Police Officers will tell you it is too unpredictable, anything can happen.
When I was a member of EMT Exployers we were never allowed on a scene. Our meetings consisted of Lectures, films, demonstrations, and Opstical Courses we drove ambulances around, that was a blast.
Exputing career choices is a wonderful idea, unfortunately there are limited careers to explore, I believe Police, EMS, and there is an Explorer Program for NASA are the only choices teens have.

juz10 said...

I think there should be a Police Explorer Program. If the kids want to be in the program then they should be allowed to. I believe that this article most likely paints the Police Explorer Program in a negative light, by making it seem more dangerous than it actually is. Most likely 99.9 percent of the time no student involved in the program is ever harmed. If a student wants to be a cop or is interested in law enforcement then there is no better way for them to learn about it then through first hand experience. I don’t think that they should be quite as close to the action that is taking place as it sounds like this kid was, maybe they could watch the officer from the squad car ?

mledoux said...

I think the Police Explorer Program is a great opportunity for youth to shadow law enforcement. With crimes like shootings, beatings, and really anything imaginable already taking place, who could a youth possibly be safer with then a cop? Granted, by shadowing law enforcement the youth are more likely to be put in dangerous situations. I feel that as long as the parents fully understand the dangers and the youth are old enough to have some self defense skills then the program should continue. I think that the program should be limited to those youth’s that are considering law enforcement as a career choice; not to those that are just curious on how law enforcement works.

Celina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Celina said...

I agree with the program to an extent but I feel like the program itself can be very risky for our youth. The Police Explorer Program can be an outstanding learning experience however the risk involved is great. The program can help prepare the minors for what they're going to experience on the real streets. Although the program is geared towards minors I feel that the situations can easily influence our teens for negative behavior. All in all I feel like the program could be beneficial but I feel like the regulations should be extremely strict. The fact that this program is for minors means they cannot carry weapons which means if they enter a dangerous situation they could most certainly get injured, which to me is very unsafe. I think each call should be treated on a case by case basis, many calls are of an urgent matter which doesn't allow for alot of time to thoroughly think these things through which is why I think that the regulations should be extremely strict, other than that I think the program could be extremely helpful.

gator_girl26 said...

I do not think the youth civilians in the Police explorer program should be allowed to go out with Police officers who are on patrol. The youths may be put in harm’s way or in serious danger. They do not have the long extensive training that the actual police do. While I do believe the program is an excellent opportunity for teens to experience some of what it would be like to be a police officer and learn more about it, they should not actually be hands on. That is what the police academy is for and when you are ready and know more about different situations they may face, they go out with a training officer.

kmabe said...

I personally think the Explorer program is a great idea. I don't know what the statistics are on people actually being injured on these rides but I suspect it would not be too high. I think its a great opportunity for those considering law enforcement at a profession. They get a better idea of all that it entails. I think they get a good glimpse of things that could be monotonous (like paper work) and things that are challenging as well as dangerous. Much like the young explorer saw. I have know way of knowing for certain but most activities probably have policies in place for those who participate. I would imagine that even the Explorer (despite the good intention) stepped over a line by helping the officer. I think that young person probably got to see some of the difficulties one might have to go through for that profession, I also would imagine there are release forms for such activities in the event that something bad were to take place. So yes I think that its a great program should continue to be in effect.

J_Rambo said...

I think that on-field training is necessary for a job like police force, but not at minor's age. When they're older, going through the training courses, then absolutely, throw them out there with the real cops. Just don't expect them to take part in the dangerous calls. They are there to "observe" how the job works. If they really want to be safe, throw them in with a squad car with two officers instead of one. Main point, they still need on-site training, but its too risky at a minors age for law enforcement.

J_Rambo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catlvr42 said...

Before this article I knew little of the Police Explorer Program. I have since gone to their website to find out more information and Chris' comments have indeed helped. I like the idea of young people being able to see first hand what it takes to work in law enforcement. The uniforms, required classes, and the hours spent in the field show this programs desire to be proffesional and structured. There is a lot to be said about programs like this that enable young people with a sense of responsibility and pride by doing good for the community.I have no problem with the age requirements , 16-18yrs of age seems appropriate. The knowledge that comes with experience is what will help in difficult situations.

lidget33 said...

I think the police explorer program is a good idea. What happened seemed like a rare case and should not be a reason to stop the program. The boy who helped out the officer was very brave. I don’t know how I would have reacted in the same situation. The people who join this program know that being a police officer is dangerous. The kid wanted to continue with the program so he didn’t feel under trained. Obviously they train the explorers pretty well because he helped save the officers life. If parents give the okay on minors joining then there is not a problem. Parents would know best if there child could handle an intense situation. From everything Chris says it sounds safe. I think this is good experience and helpful to the community.

lil_princess86 said...

I think the Polise Explorer program can be a good thing but it also can be a bad thing. I believe that it woll help more teenagers stay out of trouble because they will have someone to look up too. Being in the Police Explorer programwill also keep them busy so they stay away fromfrom bad influences like drugs, sex and stealing. I think it will also help boost up their self esteem by making them feel important. I also believe it can be a bad thing because like in the article a teenager can get hurt because they arent well trained to defend them selves like a police officer, SO to solve this I think that when there is a emergency call the teenager should stay in the vehicle under all circumstances. If the other police officer needs assistantthen the teenager should call for back up.

Petit Monde said...

I consider the nationwide police Explorer to be a great program for our youth to get familiarized with the laws and the proper ways and steps of enforcing them. Nowadays, kids are exposed to a lot of violence at a very young age whether from watching television, movies or from popular video games. Having the opportunity to try things out can provide these teens the experience and inside look of being on the other side of violence; perhaps give them insights of what they can be when they grow up and possibly lead to desiring a career. It was terrible news to hear that one of the teen helper had an unfortunate encounter during a burglary investigation, but that incident should not turn a good program into a failure.

The teens that participate go through series of testing and month of training before they can go on ride-a-longs with police officers or perform other tasks. There are instances that cannot be predicted ahead of time for it to be prevented. It’s true that we can take precautions, but accidents still happen every day. As a said earlier, what happened was cruel and in spite of that, I still find the police Explorer program admirable.

DLandon said...

I am certain that this explorer program seems like an excellent learning opportunity and is very exciting to a teenager, but as a mother, what were they thinking? A teenager was attacked that should have never been there in the first place. Last year, a total of 186 law enforcement officers died in line of duty. Police officers, as commendable as I feel they are, can not guarantee their own safety. The Explorer program allows 16 year old kids to ride around during normal 8-hour shifts with police officers. However, a typical day for a police officer, means that our children are being exposed to domestic violence, prostitutes, drug attics, drunk drivers, and regular every day criminals.

jliebler said...

I think that people that are this young and have such little experience should not be allowed out on such calls like this one.The types of police officers that should be handling these types of calls should be the ones with the most ecperience. Maybe a safe alterenative for teaching these "rookie" cops or interns would be to let them watch videos on these types of scenerios, or a police acadamy could make a scenerio closest to the ones that these young officers will experiance. Although it is a good idea to try and get tthese young officeres experience on the force, we must think what is more important, safety, or risking the lives of people just to teach?

heather said...

I agree, or support, the police explorer program so long as this “teenager” is not a minor. If a person who is a part of this explorer program is of the age of eighteen or nineteen, then of course I think it should be allowed. They’re considered adults, who just so happen to be interested in this field of work. They should be given the opportunity to learn more about it. However, I don’t feel that somebody the age of say fifteen, sixteen, or so, should be allowed to be a part of this, this meaning riding along in a police car. This makes him/her susceptible to a number of dangerous situations. Whether the explorer attends his/her training session during the day or night really doesn’t make a difference. The duty of being a law enforcer is dangerous no matter what time of day it is.

Ashley Marie said...

The explorer programs are designed for teen-agers who are actively interested in being police officers in the future. They are all fully aware that it could be dangerous being a police officer, however, if they want a real inside look at what it takes to be a police officer it would include being on patrol. Granted it should be a patrol route where there has statisticlly been little/no dangerous insidents however there can never be any guarentees. I also believe the explorer program is good in helping children learn and experience something most people would never get to do in their lives. I also, feel that since these studnts and teenagers have signed permission from their parents and the "higher-ups" in the police station to be in the program they have to have some self defense manovers knowlege before they even get to go out on patrol. So over all, I feel it is a good program and like with most things in life there is a little danger involved.

angryvito87 said...

I really don't you can really make a case against the Police Explorers because of this one incident. It was just an unfortunate event and it just happened that a kid in the Police Explorer program was there and got hurt. Maybe the kid should have not tried and intervene, but this event shouldn't be the end of the Police Explorers. I had a friend who was in the same thing but with the fire department and from what he told me, it was a great opportunity for him to see how it is to be a firefighter. If he wasn't in that program, he wouldn't have been able to see what it is really like to be a firefighter. That is what the Police Explorer program does, show kids who are interested in becoming police officers how it really is. We may not like it but what happened here can and does happen. Kids should be and hear about this kind of stuff before they decide to become police officers.

aw6349 said...

I like the explorers program but I agree with fporzio that minors shouldn't be alowed out on patrol because one they are minors and two they aren't trained to handle thoses types of situations. What would they do if one of the explorers ended up dead because of that. It is great for hands on learning and such but only for experienced adults who know what they are getting themselves into. I just think it would be a better idea if we kept that training for experienced adults because heaven forbid something horrible happens say the officer is actually killed then we need someone who knows what to do in that situation.

RikRajos said...

I personally don't believe that the Police explorer program should exsist. What ever happened to police going to schools and talking to kids, teaching them about law enforcement? At first it would seem like a good program, until something like this happens, but we can never be too careful with our kids lives. That guy could have had a gun with him, and ready to use it. Then this story would be completely different. I would like to know more about the rules of this program. FOr instance, should the kid be allowed to leave the car when a situation like this is happening? Overall I think this program is unsafe and no one under the age of 18 should be caught up in a situation like this.

Cos said...

The Tampa Police Explorer program is a great program to keep the youth off the streets. If I had children I would much rather they were learning the law first hand from a police officer than sitting in the back seat of a police cruiser and having a juvenile record. Yes, there may be risks of the “explorers” being injured during the training but I would feel a lot more comfortable knowing they were doing something positive for themselves than completely blowing their futures in jail. Although I was not familiar with the police program prior to this article, the program’s website: http://www.tampaexplorers.com/ indicates it has been around “for over 30 years.” Also, the site mentioned “Explorers obtain training to assist them in possible Law Enforcement careers to include but not limited to, traffic control, report writing, fingerprinting, and many other Law Enforcement related topics.” I hope the program keeps up the great work and lasts for another 30 years.

Collegeboi said...

I think that the program is great, but the incident that occurred was just a coincidence. The program is there to promote law enforcement to youth (without all the paperwork lol), but there should be more safety precautions taken to limit events like what just happened. Youth traveling with police officers should always wear a vest if they don't already have one. Also they should consider training them in the use of teazers. If thaf can't be done then I'm afraid that the program should be discontinued.

Rashera88 said...

In my honest opinion I believe that the minors in the Police Explorer Program should be allowed to protrol with the officer but if something dangerous happens then they should stay in the car and call for back up or find help. They shouldn't get involved for their own safety. I just hope that the parents are aware of the consequences that could happen when their children are out protroling with the officers because some parents might not like the idea of their kids getting into a dangerous situation. The Police Department probably needs to change the rules a bit if the parents start to protest. I'm just relieved that no serious harm came to the officer and the young teen.

figlio della lupa said...

It seems like a productive program, extremely dangerous however.A thousand things can happen while on patrol with a law enforcement officer.
Like many said before, strict regulations might be able to help, but I doubt the program would be as productive with that many regulations.

Mina Armanious said...

The police explorer program should be limited in order to protect the person who is involving it. Youth, adults or even retired in this program are not well trained to go out in missions or any officers duties that put them in danger like the one we are having right now. However, the police explorer program is a great learning experience for our High school students interested in a law enforcement career, or who are just curious about the day-to-day activities of police officers, will have an opportunity at firsthand learning through that program; Therefore, protecting them should be the most considerations to avoid its danger.

bb521 said...

I actually couldn't care less about the police explorer program. I dont even see what the debate is, if the kids want to ride around with a cop and see what his job is like then let him. It's not like the kid has to help the officer, he could of just stayed in the car with the doors locked and waited for the cop's backup to arrive. I'm sure that it is extremely rare for someone in the program actually get involved in a situation and if they do then it is their fault anyway for trying to help. Just stay put its not your job to help the cop you are just observing.

Qt said...

I think the police explorer program is a very good experience for someone who is looking into a career that involves that because you get to see first hand what it is like. Yes it can be dangerous, but that is one of the disadvantages of being a police officer; you need to realize that if that is what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life. If there were a ton of rules and regulations for the program, it would not be the same experience and you would be getting the wrong impression of being a police officer. It’s not just all fun and games; it is a very dangerous job.

frankthetank said...

I believe the Police Explorer program has good intentions and can be a useful tool in helping youth decide their career path. It can also be used as a deterrent for them engaging in crime. On the other hand, it can be a dangerous situation since the youth are not trained properly and armed for dangerous situations. I'm sure for the most part the officers serve as their protection but in this case the officer was unable to offer aid. Another negative point may be that the officers may not be able to perform their job as well in a dangerous situation if they are concerned with the unarmed youth sitting in the car. It's a tough call to determine if the programs pros outweigh the cons.

JohnnyD813 said...

I personally think its a great idea for young youth to take a stroll in a police officers car, but its a totally different story to investigate an abandon house with a young kid. What should of happened is the cop should of called for back-up and have the kid wait in the car or far enough that he is away of danger. I think the program is good because it probably stress's alot of non violence and the law to youth. I just think that the regulations should be a little more tighter. Its a crazy world out there now and people are more and more crazier with every passing day. Any youth's parents should know all the risk before letting thier child partake in this program, and know that there is always danger with law enforcement.

phillyfan said...

I agree that minors going out with the police department is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. i think to save us (the tax payers) some money, we should just avoid this whole situation. Our taxes are used for protection from the police department and i for one think that this is just what it is for. If a teenager, what ever the age, wants to join the the police force they should go through the same training as any other officer before going out on duty. There should be no risk at all especially if a minor was one of the people to go out. I think they should be allowed to be one of the cars to pull people and watch how to record speeding tickets but take no calls resulting in any risk. I agree some risks are unavoidable but they should do there best. Well i guess if the police department is to continue with this whole deal then at least be as safe as they can be, and if possible have waivers signed so no suing is possible what ever was to happen.

twin2 said...

I don't feel that there is enough infomation given in this article on the Explorer progam to have an opinion one way or another. What I would like to know is at what age are these people who participate? Are they minors? If they are older than 18, are they signing waivers of liability? If not, who picks up the cost when there is a situation and they are injured and or killed. Tax payers? Also, are the persons in this program there with the intention on joining the police field? To some degree, I like the idea that this program is out there to give persons the opportunity to see first hand what is required of our officers. On the other had, I don't understand what restrictions are in place to insure their safety. Again, I have to say that I don't feel as though I have enough information to make an opinion on this issue.

SocialButterfly said...

I can't believe the teen was out there without any self-defense experience! Police work can be a great learning experience, but the teen should have to start with small steps. I mean, when a student is learning to be a surgen, they dont just throw him/her into the operating room to watch, right? He/she stays in another room and watches behind a glass window. I'm not saying that they should put the teen explorers in a glass room, but a little more knowledge and self-defense experience would be helpful. And not just for himself, but for the police officer too, because the officers not only have to watch out for themselves, but the teen too.

loveb822 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
loveb822 said...

I think the police explorer program is overall a good idea, with good intentions. I've personally toured Orient Road jail and got to see the cells, lunchroom, booking, etc. It really made me realize how different things are, and made me gear more toward a career in the federal field. I think this program allows kids to get an inside look on law enforcement and allows them to test out the field to see if they are interested. I think it would educate kids in many ways. They would not only learn what police officers do, but why they do it, the training they go through, their means behind enforcing the law, etc. I definitely believe this program is a very useful idea

Athena Smith said...

Phillyfan, social butterfly, loveb822 and twin2
Please read the comments by Chris Potts who explains all the training that goes into the program.

Athena Smith said...

This program exists all over the US and this article from Los Gatos in California is very informative on the prerequisites and training.

COWABUNGAAAA!!! said...

I like the idea of the police explorer program, but I don't think that people under 18 should be patroling with the officers. Crime is unpredictable and anything could happen. I mean, it's a good idea to show them around the police station and all, but I think it's too much risk. They could show them videos about all the patroling they do. If they're interested enough, then they could join the real thing after high school and do patroling then. Learning more about future careers before you get out of high school is a great idea though, i'm all for that.

habitualdoodler said...

I think that explorer programs can be great tools used to help minors decide if that is a profession which they would be interested in pursuing. But at the same time, there has to be a limit to the type of police calls the explorers are able to attend since they do not have the proper training as a regular officer and are unarmed. I do not think that the program should be ended or that it doesn’t have a good use, it just needs to have strict rules and one of which should definitely be safety first for minors.

Silly Puddy said...

I personally believe the Police Explorer Program is an excellent program for young adults to understand how law enforcement plays a vital role in our society. It would give excellent on-job-training for those who pursue a major in criminal justice or maybe even become a law enforcement officer. These programs should be handled in a manner to that is learning experience for the youth but also avoid dangerous calls or even a call that may sound be become dangerous. It should be just lectures and riding in the police car with law enforcers and having the law enforces just show the youth what to avoid as a teen growing up to become something great. Provide a positive influence.

Shaunda said...

The Police explorer's definently should not accompany officers during patrol. Something worse could have happened to the child and it would have looked bad on the department. If the Explorer does accompany an officer there should always be a second officer to accompany, that way if something serious happens the child is has a chance of being protected. The whole entire thing sounds unsafe to me; I would not want my child to participate being an officer is too dangerous, especially with a child accompaning.

Aries said...

Has anyone driven down the inner city street, stood out side before and after school at middle and high school, or even walked thru the mall when school is not in session? If you haven’t, you need too. Your are in for a rude awakening. There is such a lack of respect for authority, rules/laws, and elders. The presence of shield is no longer enough to keep at least our youth in line. This Explorer Program gives these selected youth a opportunity to see what they and/or their peers are doing to our schools and communities. I see this program as an opportunity for these youth to go back to their community and tell their peers the exposure and harm our shield go through on a daily bases. These youth can then teach and lead by showing good examples. Although , these explorers are exposed to a lot of danger and violent interaction, with the training and mentoring they receive, they are much safer then another youth that is not part of the program walking down the inner city streets. Something needs to get today’s youth attention..

squeen13 said...

The Police Explorer program sounds like a dangerous program to me. The youth who ride with these officers aren't trained to the extent that the officers are and if presented with a dangerous situation won't know how to act or may hinder the officer's job.
What happens when there is an emergency? Does the officer take the youth with them or dump them off somewhere so they can act? Either way is irresponsible to the police force for promoting a program like this. It should be made safer if they want to educate these youths. They could take them around with inactive officers or give them experience through staged real life situations.

max said...

Although it is a tragedy what happen I still think it is a good idea for teens to ride along with the cops. I think that before these teens are able to get into a car to ride along, they should have to sign a wavier making law enforcement non liable for anything that happens to them. I just feel that the best way to teach and help teens that want to join law enforcement is to do something like ride along. I think it would be sad to shut down a good program because of a tragic accident and not let others learn in a great way.

googleit@yahoo said...

I think that the police explorer program is great for youths to test the waters on a career discussion that could affect not only theirs but everyone in our communities lives. I know people that have experienced this program and they though it was a safe and rewarding experience. I don’t think one bad accident should spoil it for the rest of them. These kids should have a good feel of what they will be required to do in the future if they do decide to be a police officer. I think requiring certain certification before allowing them to go out on patrol will cause the participation rate to drop, making the program less effective. I’m sick of these bad guys and we can’t let them dictate the way we live by increasing concern over one incident. I feel the government has too many restrictions on the way we live and this would just make things difficult for people who possibly one day could save your life.

EUrban said...

I believe this program is a very positive attribute to the community. It allows the youth to receive a better understanding and respect for police officers. This case was extremely tragic however there are many unfortunate tragedies that happen day to day. Although there is a risk involved in allowing these teens to accompany in ride alongs there is always a risk when someone trained or untrained goes on patrol. However this program really does help teens understand the positive involvement of the Police enforcement throughout the community. The benefit of teens understanding how police help everyone is something that cannot be taught through simple word of mouth it is really absorbed by experience.

hrad said...

I think that the Police Explorer Program should not take young adults out into real situations where the police do not know if it is safe or not. The program is great for students interested in law enforcement but the problem is that they are still minors. Cops are armed when on the job and it is not safe to have a young companion that is not trained to be dealing in dangerous situations. Having already set up crime scenes with actors would be a great way for young adults to learn about what happens and how to handle situations as a police officer.

arlaince said...

I believe the Police Explorer Program is a great program but like all programs, everything has their pros and cons. the program is great because it’s a great experience to the untrained. It allows them to see how the real force works, but it also has a major risk factor getting involved in a serious situation. I believe if you want to go and explore the streets it should be at your own risk. Anything can happen so just because of one incident; you shouldn’t let it screw up your dreams. Take a chance in life you never know what may happen. If you love it that much then it shouldn’t be that much of a problem.

BucFan1984 said...

My thoughts about the police explorer program are that it is a nice way to get a firsthand look at the law enforcement sector. It gives the youth a chance to interact, ask questions, and see how interesting a career in law enforcement would be. Some of the situations could put the explorer in danger but that is a part of the life an officer lives daily. They risk their life to protect others from criminals running loss in our towns and cities. It is a great program that has merits in the community to help the youth figure out what they would like to do or become later on in their life.

richwhitegirl said...

This is true I do not believe that police explorers because they are not a experienced as other officers to take down criminal offenders should not be driven around with regular law enforcement officers even though at first I thought this was a great plan at first an easy and quick way to learn about being a police officer, at the same time I do not think they should take this program off complete, I believe that this police department has t make sure what the newbies are getting into that they have to be ready for anything and if the trainees sign enough papers that they will be able to do anything good being just a guy in training even give him paper spray or anything.

mmariem25 said...

I believe the police explorer program is designed to introduce young people to the intricacies of law enforcement. I do not believe the program was designed to expose civilians to risk or dangerous confrontational experiences with criminal elements. In this situation, I believe officer Hernandez was negligent in exposing the juvenile explorer to danger. Although all of the details of the incident were not presented, Hernandez should have explicitly told his explorer companion to remain in the squad car. I also believe that when the woman in the house was joined by the man from the house the officer should have excused himself to call for back up.

Pookie said...

I think there are better ways to teach youth about police experiences than taking minors out on patrol. Theres a chance the explorer could have been seriously hurt or even killed and no learning experience is worth that. Police officers are always in danger weather in a dangerous community or not, i would think officers themselves would see this program as a bad idea because it puts another innocent persons life in their hands.

Steelers88 said...

Police explorers sound like a ride-along. Although the civilians are riding with an officer, they should be aloud to. The officer protects them. I feel as if each person riding with an officer should have basic training first and never brought to dangerous situations like a “burglary”. More like domestic dispute cases or speeding tickets. All people who participate need to be at least 18 years old. No minors should be involved.

Steelers88 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pcgirl said...

I think the program is a great idea but I believe the rules and restriction should be tighter. They should not be taking teenage kids to a burglary that is just asking for trouble. I would think teenagers should be involved in traffic violations or little things that are less likely to turn into a dangerous situation. Most burglars are probably armed with some sort of weapon and to put an untrained unarmed teenage kid in that kind of situation is absolutely ridiculous. The program sounds like a great educational experience for interested teens but I would think you would need some kind of line drawn between what the teens can and can not be involved in.

RockyRikoko said...

I think the police explorer program is a good program, as long as adults involved are responsible and use reasonable discretion as to which calls the explorers will be permitted to participate in. Many young people grow up board and end up participating in illegal activities just because they are looking for something to do. Programs, such as the police explorers, allow young people to provide a civil service while learning valuable life lessons. But as adults, the officers and policy makers involved in the program have a duty to provide a safe learning environment. Obviously in the case outlined in this article the officer would have had no idea that such a danger awaited them inside, but could have cleared the building before allowing the explorer to participate or waited for additional law enforcement to arrive for back up. It seems the explorer provided a false sense of security that ended badly for all parties involved.

hurricanes520 said...

I have heard things about these youth Explorer Police Programs, and I think that they are a good idea. I believe that they are a good experience for young adults that are interested in the criminal justice system. I think that it gives them confidence in the regards to being a police officer. As for the “explorers” being involved in altercations with citizens this is a totally different subject. These “explorers” should be required to stay in or right next to the police car. They should not be able to carry guns or any other weapons for that matter; they are not properly trained in how to use such tactics if an occurrence might come about. As we just read this “explorer” but not only his life but the life of the officer in jeopardy. Camera man as we see on Cops but themselves in these situations and many of them get hurt from criminals how can distinguish whether they are an officer or cameraman. These “explorer” programs should be carefully monitored by the police departments, having the “explorers” being escorted by an officer who only watches over them.

Steve Overton said...

As shocking as this may sound to most people I on the other hand am not surprised at all. The officer was patrolling a bad part of town by himself with an explorer. Any minor that takes apart in this program must suspect that they may be endangered at any time or anywhere because they are with the police who's job is to go after the bad guys. If anyone is to blame for this attack it would have to be the police officer for not being accompanied by another officer while on patrol with the minor. On the other end though the minor's parents agreed for their child to be able to participate in the program by signing some sort of permission slip.

William said...

It's not like they're pulling minors off the street and using them as human shields. I'm sure the kid signed a waiver to participate in the program. He was therefore aware of the risks and chose to participate anyway. The program doesn't seem like a particularly good idea to me though, because I see no reason to begin training an officer before the age of 18, but if it exists they should attempt to let the kids know what the job is really about. On a side note I'm sure the minor walked away with a small bump and a great story.

kortneywithak2 said...

I think the idea of a minor going out on the streets and playing cop to be ridiculous. It is extremely dangerous and unethical to me. Police officers are highly trained professionals who are taught how to deal with dangerous situations. A minor is not trained nor even mature enough to know how to deal with situations like that being thrown at them without warning. I think that however it is probably great training and very educational, it is not the way to go about it. I would think there were many liability issues. What if they got shot and killed? You never know what might happen with a criminal and I think that this sitation is a perfect example. So in my opinion, if the law inforcement agency wants to start training kids at a young age to be police officers, they better stick with the fake scenarios and training programs.

mndz05 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mndz05 said...

I think the police explorer program is good, although I disagree that minors should be out on patrol with the policemen. I think it’s a good learning experience to be in the program because I myself was in the explorer program in High School and it was good and fun at the same time. It was a good thing to see if we liked it and were interested in pursuing a career in it. We had weekly meetings and learned safety techniques, as well as got trained. We weren’t allowed to ride along on a call with the police though which was good cause I don’t think that would’ve been safe to do.

sk8rgrl said...

I'm sure its a great program for teens but when there is a situation like that I feel that there should be two officers on duty for the ride. The program should have training for situations like those. It would have been very dangerous if the criminal got possession of the officer's firearm. I feel that the teen was trying to do good but it could have cost him his life. The officer should have never put the teen in danger like that. I think the Police Explorer program needs to be revised.

Goob07 said...

The concept of the Explorer program is great! What better way for a young adult to find out if a career in law enforcement is right for them? However, when you take young people and put them in potentially dangerous situations…That is just asking for trouble. I do not think that taking the minors on patrol with the officers is a good idea. To many things can ,and in this case did, go wrong. The dangers that police officers face everyday is to great to try and involve a minor in. The program is a good idea, but not at all safe enough as they found out this past weekend.

khester2 said...

The Police Explorer Program is an excellent opportunity for those that would like to become a police officer because it gives on the job training and experience. However, the problem is these students have not been educated to protect themselves if they run into trouble when they are with the police officer. I do not think it is a good idea for minors to be in this program because they are not taught how to defend themselves and it could become very dangerous if it is not taken seriously and the necessary precautions are taken to ensure that it is a safe experience.

tquintero728 said...

I think that the Police Explorer Program is beneficial yet risky at the same time. There are teenagers accompanying police officers when they are called to the scene. I think that this is a great program. A great way for young people to look up to the heroes in their community. I am almost sure there are rules & regulations about this program, but I would like to see the teenage civilian stay in the car the entire time. Of course,. Getting out of the car is permissible, to use to restroom, but this would be so much safer. There is no need for a teenager approaching a potential dangerous situation.

Karma Chameleon said...

I think the program is a good idea because it gives students one more way to look into a future career possibly. If issues like this occurred very often, I’m sure the program would be reconsidered. However, there is obviously an element of danger to be expected when one is driving around with a police officer on duty. Any person who volunteers must expect that. If there were a way to eliminate the danger and still provide a realistic experience that wasn’t incredibly costly, I’m sure it would have been implemented. Unfortunately, everything has its negative aspects, but we should be thankful that the student wasn’t critically injured.

michelleL said...

I agree with fporzio. I don't think the explorers should go out on patrol because lets face it- a police officer has a dangerous job. Also the minors may distract the police officers because they feel like they have to protect the tag a long and this may put both officer and explorer in danger! For example, what happened here --if they where two qualified and armed officers maybe it would have turned out a lot differently.

Also I’m not sure of the story because it says the house owner was dead or it was abandoned and people were going there to hang out and do drugs??? If the neighbor was aware of this what was he waiting for?? Why didn't he do something sooner??????

Tink1213 said...

I do and I don’t agree with the Police Explorer program. I think that it is a great idea for policemen to get involved and want to show kids the ways of law enforcement, but I think that if they are going to allow kids to ride in the cars with the police officers than those police officers shouldn’t be allowed to take calls. When allowing policemen to take calls they are endangering the lives of the kids riding in the car with them as well as themselves. Also, if they are going to take someone in the police explorer program along with them than I don’t think that they should be taking them into neighborhoods that may put them in a dangerous situation.

TMyers1087 said...

I believe that the Police Explorer Program is a great program to have. It educates the youth to the various activities of a police officer and also informs them of the dangers that can happen on the job. This program can also show them if this is the right career for the future. If the young explorer finds that they are not the right person for the job, they will know by the time they graduate high school. Although, it is also risky at the same time when riding with a police officer that may get called to a crime scene. But by accompanying the officer will give them the experience they need to move forward in this career of their choice.

MyHead88 said...

No student or minor should ride with a police officer. They are there to execute and support the law. A young person who does not have experience or is trained in law does not have any right to be put in a situation where he or she might be in danger. A cop has been trained and is paid to do his job, any person looking for experience or knowledge can read or book or go to school the same way every one else has done it. That is the reason there are young cadet programs and R.O.T.C in high school, real life situations can be dangerous and although they give excellent experience the risks are far to high and can not be over looked.

mike b said...

i believe that this was a freak accident. this shouldn't take away from young civilains trying to model officers and what they want to do in life. i believe that the police explorer program should have tight regulations on what they are and are not alowed to do. i believe if this program is going to stay in progress that the police department needs to be more responsible. i also believe that it should be very closely watched especially when someone that is not properly trained that is with a police officer is put into a dangerous dsand unsafe situation for both parties.

sunshine said...

I think this is a great program. It gives teenagers a chance to see the other side of the coin. Also it's probably nothing like the shows on television. It allowes them to see if this could possably be a career they might chose to follow. On the other hand there has to be a limit. If the explorer is not trained right, then they need to stay safe. Had something more serous happened to the explorer, who would be to balme? It's agreeable that it is a great learning experience, but keeping safety first.

Britt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Britt said...

To the participants in the Police Explorer Program it might seem like an amazing opportunity, but I do not believe the minors in the Police Explorer Program should be allowed to actually go out on patrol with officers. They are not properly trained in what to do in dangerous situations. A great example is like the situation in the article. The world is a dangerous place, and yes the Police do assist in making it a safer place, but the Police Explorers are not taught and equipt with that type of responsibility and training that on-duty Police have. I also feel that it is irresponsible of the Police Department to allow minors to go out on active duty with officers because they are not equipt and could be seriously injured. The Police Explorer Program should have strict rules on what the Explorers are allowed to do and where they are allowed to go. In general, I think that it doesn’t sound like the safest program; however, if the Police Department is going to have it they should be more responsible in how they run the Program.

tennispro said...

I do not agree with the program. Well i guess it has its advantages and disadvantages. Many young peoples dreams are to be a police officer and what better way to see if you like the job is only if you are one for the day or however long it might be. The disadvantage is that it could be very unsafe, I mean even driving aound in a patrol car could be unsafe, i guess it depends what part of town you are in. Over all i would not put myself in the situation or I would not want my friends in it either.

jmcdonald10 said...

I think that it is a great idea for the police department to have a program for students who want to be in the police system when they get older. I don’t although believe that these minors should be able to go out with police officers on their daily routes, only because of the safety matter. It is not safe for the officer, the student who is riding with them and by standers who might be around when the crime is taking place. I think that if they really want kids to go out and see what a officer does daily, they should have a observer car, where the police officer doesn’t actually fight crimes, just follows another cop to show what is going on.

diana25 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
diana25 said...

I feel police explorers are a good thing. If young teens want to be with a police officer in that atmosphere they should know the risks they are taking. It is dangerous. It is kind of like in high school when ever students are in the agriculture club and they do all the agriculture farming things. They are learning a lot just like the kids whom are apart of the police exploration activity. It allows them to know what the job of a police officer is like to see if whenever they get older if they also would like to be a police officer. I like the idea of the young teen police explorers.