SRPD Reports
Salt River Police Department Looking to Increase Membership of Explorer Program
Submitted by Det. Ed Alameda
Public Information Officer, Salt River Police Department

The Salt River Police Department is actively looking to increase the number of teen age Community members who may be interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or the criminal justice system.

The Police Explorer Program was started in 1995 and over the past 21 years has helped over 20 Community Members develop their abilities, knowledge and skills to become employed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) and other businesses thereby sharing their efforts and skill sets that have absolutely benefited the SRPMIC.

“Without question, our Salt River Police Department’s Explorer Program is the shining example and model of Community Based Policing. Establishing the Salt River Police Department’s Explorer Program with co-founder SRPD Cmdr. James Sutphen is absolutely one of the greatest highlights of my Police career and service at SRPD,” said Assistant Chief Karl Auerbach.

A common misunderstanding about the Explorer program is that it is only beneficial for those who want to become police officers. Although, it is true that the core of the program does emphasize knowledge about law enforcement and police work, young people who are interested in becoming dispatchers, detention officers or prosecutors also benefit from the Police Explorer curriculum.

“The SRPD Police Explorers Program provided me the opportunity to learn about leadership and teamwork. Both of those skills have helped me in both my personal life and professional career. Although, I did not have a career in law enforcement- the Explorers program was key in helping me become the successful individual that I am today,” said Ruben Guerrero Jr, Director of Corporate Affairs, Salt River Materials Group.

The Salt River Police Explorer program has enjoyed many successes including the first graduate of the program to become a police officer with the Salt River Police Department. On June 26th, Officer Portillo graduated from the Police Academy and started his official career as a police officer with the Salt River Police Department. Officer Portillo was a member of the Explorer program for the previous two years.

“The Salt River Police Explorer Program has a long and rich history with our department. We are proud of these young men and women and we hope they continue on their path of good citizenship and higher education. Ultimately we would like to see them pursue a career in law enforcement within this Community,” said Chief Patrick R. Melvin.

The Salt River Police Explorer program meets once a week on Monday evenings and participates in a number of community service projects, regional competitions and recreational activities. Members have to be between 14-21 years old, be of good character and maintain a “C” average through high school.

Anyone interested in getting more information about the Explorer Program, please contact Detective Ed Alameda at Edward.alameda@srpmic-nsn.gov or call (480) 326-7897.

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