What is the Explorer Program?
Exploring is an education and experience based program designed to help young people develop into mature, caring and responsible adults.
The Exploring program focuses on character development and career education. Learning for Life programs help youth develop social and life skills, assist in character and career development, and help youth formulate positive personal values. It prepares youth to make ethical decisions that will help them achieve their full potential. It builds an avenue for public/private partnerships that provides a means to support our mission to protect and serve. As individuals, the youth involved give back to their community by completing hundreds of hours of community service each year. They become role models for their peers and friends and serve as catalysts for positive police relations in our communities.
What Do the Explorers Do?
Explorers provide assistance to the Fort Worth Police Department and the City of Fort Worth by volunteering their time at various community events or activities. Some of these activities include crime fairs, Cow Town brush up, Burglary of Motor Vehicle Awareness program, child safety programs, traffic direction, football games, and parades. Through weekly post meetings that Explorers attend they learn about various law enforcement techniques and practices such as arrest, search and seizure, fire arms safety, crime scene investigations, fingerprinting, handcuffing, building searches, traffic enforcement, and many more aspects of the law enforcement profession.
Ride Out Program (Job Shadowing)
After the required probation period the Ride-Out program allows Explorers to ride along with a police officer and observe them as they work in the field. This is a way that Explorers can experience law enforcement first hand and gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system
Explorers train to compete against other Explorer teams throughout the area, state and even the nation. The Texas Law Enforcement Explorers Advisors Association (TLEEAA) holds an annual event that allows these teams to test their learned skills against one another, with the top participants and teams receiving awards for their performance. At the state TLEEAA Competition our Fort Worth Exploring Program has received the honors of Agency of the year in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2013 and has also received Post of the year in 2008.
At the National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference in 2010 our youth in the Exploring program have placed in the top 20 in the 9mm pistol competition as well as taking 2nd place nationally for White collar crimes. In 2012 at the National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference one of our Explorers placed 1st overall in the 9mm pistol competition. We have also participated in numerous competitions throughout the state to include, Corpus Christi, Lake Jackson, Ellis County, Harris County and Plano X competitions. These provide excellent training opportunities for our youth.
Qualifications to Join
Both male and female young adults are encouraged to join. To be considered, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Age - Minimum age is 14 years old, and has completed the 8th grade can be considered. The maximum age is 21 years old.
School - Be enrolled in school and maintain at least a "C" (70) or higher GPA. They must have a high school diploma or GED if not in school.
Academy - Each candidate must complete an annual physical fitness and job function test. They must also attend and complete the required annual training academy which is held in June of each year.
An Explorer cannot have a criminal record, to include arrests or convictions. Traffic violations do not disqualify an applicant unless it is obvious that he/she is a habitual offender. Each applicant is expected to avoid the use of illegal narcotics, alcohol or tobacco products and be sound in their health and fitness. Anyone terminated from employment based on any type of theft or deception is also a disqualifier. Anyone who has a theft offense designated as a Class B misdemeanor or higher will be a disqualifier. Each candidate must pass a background investigation and maintain a neat/clean appearance. A candidate under eighteen (18) years of age must have parental consent to enroll in the program. Our Explorers are required to adhere to our Standards of Operational Procedures in order to maintain their association in the program. After being accepted into the program, you will be required to purchase the uniforms as outlined in the Explorers’ Standard Operating Procedures.
Applications will be taken on a monthly only. If you are an interested youth please complete the on line Interest Form and submit it to the Youth Services Coordinator. Once your background has been checked you will be contacted via email and the required applications, waivers and medical forms will be emailed to you. You must submit all information back to the Youth Services Coordinator via email or regular mail or hand deliver to FWPD Training Academy located at 1000 Calvert St., Fort Worth, TX 76107. For any further questions, please contact the Youth Services Coordinator at the numbers or email listed below. Applicants will be allowed to enter into a post once all applications have been received along with required medical forms and registration fees on a monthly basis only. Applicants that enter the program after the Summer Academy each year will be REQUIRED to attend the annual week long academy held during the summer of the following year. Applicants will be taken in and allowed to start the program in the following similar sequence: attend annual Summer academy, graduate and then join post or submit interest form and complete applications and be allowed to start monthly on the first of each month after your background has been completed and all required forms received. No exceptions will be made to this application process.
Exploring Post Meetings
West Post 56 - Officer Phillip Woodward (817) 269-6110, 1000 Calvert, Monday 5:00-8:30 PM
Central Post 58 - Officer Mark Russell (817) 999-9784, 1289 Hemphill, Monday 5:30-8:30 PM
North Post 57 – Corporal Sandra Vance at (817) 614-9559, 4651 North Main St. North Division Sector; Thursday, 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
East Post 63 - Officer Josh Russell at (817) 932-0311, 1100 Nashville, Wednesday 5:30-8:00 PM
Fundraising, Donations, Sponsors
Our FWPD Exploring program currently thrives on today due to the continued support of the City of Fort Worth’s citizens, Police Department and Officer Dedication to mentor the youth of our community. Our Law Enforcement Exploring Program is a non-profit organization created by Learning for Life (www.learningforlife.org), a division of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Exploring program is actively looking for financial support from the community it serves. If you would like to donate any money or sponsor the Exploring Program in anyway, please contact the Youth Services Coordinator.
Youth Services Coordinator
Officer Rebecca Woodward (817) 871-6512