Explorer program prepares teens for police work

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-17 00:06:17-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Many kids dream of being a police officers, and the Salt Lake City Police Department wants to help them see if it's really a good fit as a career.

The department has an academy for teenagers who want to go into law enforcement, and it’s called the Law Enforcement Explorer Program.

Deputy Chief Lee Dobrowolski of the Salt Lake City Police Department said it’s a chance for kids to volunteer their time and learn by shadowing real cops.

“This program grabs these kids between the ages of 14 and 20, so we give them a positive outlook and some structure,” he said. “And try to show them, if you follow this plan, regardless of what you choose to do in life: You can be successful.”

The cadets have to pass a background check and make it through an interview to get into the youth academy, after that they can go into the field with police officers. The idea is that many of the teens will continue on and become cops themselves.

“It's great because it shows them the choices they make today can impact them down the road as far as job opportunities,” said Detective Veronica Montoya.

Teens can apply for the program by filling out an application on the Salt Lake City Police Department’s website