Established in 1995, the Salt River Police Department was the first in Indian Country Law Enforcement to begin a police explorer post. The program instructs youth ranging in ages from 14-21 about police work. The first group of explorers were seven young men and women from the Salt River Community.
The purpose of the explorer program is to give young men and women the opportunity to learn first-hand the duties and responsibilities of a police officer. This program is designed to orient youth about careers in law enforcement with a learning-through-experience approach. The program provides valuable life skills such as self-esteem, self-confidence and self-discipline. Once a young person reaches the age of 21, it is the department's goal that he/she would become an officer for the Salt River Community.
No registration fee is required to join; both males and females are welcome. The post meets each week from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. at the Indian School Police Sub-Station. Participants must be between the ages of 14 to 21. Each person is asked to complete a short post application and have no serious criminal record. Our contact persons are Detective Cendejas, Officer Brown, and Officer Jakupi. They can be contacted at 480-850-8200 or 480-362-2714.
The explorers are under a required training program to help them when they go to competitions and when they are on a ride-along with officers. Some of the training and scenarios that an explorer might see in competition are: sniper challenge, obstacle course, swat fitness challenge, five-man hostage rescue team, hostage negotiations, and ten-man high-risk warrant. Explorers have the opportunity to go on a ride-along with an officer while on duty. The explorers are required to learn the police department's ten codes, this gives each explorer every opportunity to learn what the officer is doing while on his/her shift.
The explorers have a number of community events and activities that they participate in each year. Every year, the Salt River Community gives the explorers the opportunity to help and volunteer numerous hours. Some of the events that the explorers have helped with include: the Community Thanksgiving dinner, Community Pow Wow, Safety Day, Earth Day clean up, Shop with a Cop, and W. Steven Martin toy drive. Whenever asked, the explorers are always willing to help-out and give of themselves and their time.