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Thread: Not to offend..Just Curious

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    Question Not to offend..Just Curious

    Hey guys Im an Explorer Sergeant at the moment, and my Dad is a Retired Police Officer (retired in May). Now Ive talked and been around many many Officers and I have noticed there are some that just for some reason don't like Explorers at all. Do you have any expierences with this, and Officers, if you dislike Explorers what are your reasons behind this? Im not trying to stir the pot or create an arguement Im just seriously curious.
    Stay Safe and watch your 6
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    "Less Than One Half Of One Percent of Police Officers misfit that uniform, and that's a better average than you'd find among clergymen"-Paul Harvey

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    I'm a former explorer of 3 years (I was the captain), and now I'm against the idea of LE explorers, personally.

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    The reason a lot of these guys hate explorers is pretty logical. I would assume that they have a poorly ran post and accept about anyone in there and don't have any type of formal training they put them through before going on ride alongs except for some little BS safety video. Then add the immaturity of some of these kids we have joining and I can see why some explorers are hated. I can't blame them, but I'd also like them to know there's other explorers out there that aren't like them and they should treat it as a case by case, or even post by post basis.

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    Our officers didn't HATE explorers, but they sure did try to avoid taking one as a rider. The only exception was a college intern who needed to get their ridealong hours in for their class. This is where I fell in as a rider.

    Now that I'm a dispatcher at this department, I can see why generally riders, especially explorer riders are considered a pain in the ***.

    There are one or two who stop by the PD just to hang out in the dispatch office. Not really acceptable in my opinion, as a lot of sensitive info passes through there. Only people in the need-to-know (aka dispatchers and police officers) need to be in there when that kind of info comes in.

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    You must be at a fairly small town because our dispatch is guarded by a few passwords & keys, and deputies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinBlueSon View Post
    Hey guys Im an Explorer Sergeant at the moment, and my Dad is a Retired Police Officer (retired in May). Now Ive talked and been around many many Officers and I have noticed there are some that just for some reason don't like Explorers at all. Do you have any expierences with this, and Officers, if you dislike Explorers what are your reasons behind this? Im not trying to stir the pot or create an arguement Im just seriously curious.
    Stay Safe and watch your 6
    -Ralph
    It's not that we don't like the explorers as people, I'm sure most of you are fine. But, and I speak only for myself and other officers I know personally, we don't care for anyone in our "work space" that isn't a police officer. No offense intended, honestly, but an explorer is a civilian with a uniform. And, in a world where I don't even always trust a seasoned police officer, I'm surely not going to trust someone who is doing this "for kicks."

    Your money may vary...

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    While my direct experience and interaction with Explores is somewhat limited, I can shed some light and reiterate what has already been proffered.

    A well managed Explorer program is a fantastic thing. I think they provide our youth with a snapshot into the profession, afford them an opportunity to align with something positive, give them a sense of belonging and more. The return to the community can be tremendous and provides the department with a great community relations vehicle. A less than well managed program can lend itself to errant members who run afoul of officers and the public due to lack of guidance and direction.

    Where officers have an outright aversion to explorers is likely tied to their own experiences and potentially anecdotal information from behind the blue line. Unfortunately there have been cases of inappropriate relationships between explorers and officers, explorers impersonating officers and the program used as an alternative program for juvenile scofflaws.

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    Fellow Explorer here. I've seen both sides of the issue. Here's some things that I've noticed:

    The explorer post I'm a part of is very well run. We have class/meetings once per week. The classes are structured in a similar fashion to the police academy, just on a far less serious level. What I mean is that each class corresponds to a unit taught in the academy, such as history of law enforcement, traffic accident reporting, traffic stops, defensive tactics, etc. Explorers are not tested on these things, and the environment isn't particularly formal, but it does teach us a lot about law enforcement. Meetings are composed of various Post business, such as fundraising, trip and competition planning, etc. We also have community service days, where we help out the public, and department service days, where we help out department staff (such as helping with recycling, shredding non-sensitive documents, etc.). The department, in my experience, has a positive view of the explorer program.

    On the other hand, there's a neighboring post that tends to have a negative view among officers. This is because they all act like "pseudo-police officers" and there has been more than one "impersonation" incident involving them. I don't know the details of how they are run, but the officers in charge of my post refuse to work with them due to prior incidents.

    My personal observation is that just like everywhere in life, there's the good and the bad and often times people judge everyone on the latter.

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    The explorer post i am in is fairly solid to be brief. The officers that take there time off duty to help out really do care, and try to make everything we do important and a learning experience one way or another. I am not aware of any sworn officers here that are apposed to explorers or ride alongs, but i cant know for sure, nor do i care. My only complaint with this departments explorer program is some of the explorers. Immature, poorly groomed, and not professional in the slightest. Not like they have to be totally squared away, but why even join to half participate and f*** off? Hopefully an advisor will come through one day and just let some of these guys go if they don't shape up. They are on the same level as me, and i'm nobody but an older peer to judge, but standing alongside some of these guys in uniform makes me look bad and part of their junk, and i'm not having it. That all

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    I was an LE Explorer when I was a teenager. I rose to the rank of Lieutenant and absolutely loved it. I'm now an auxiliary officer in my local PD and I think the Explorer experience was very valuable.

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    The usual: Some like Explorers, some don't. It's just like ride-a-longs, some officers/deputies/etc. will be more for it than others. It's not an offensive question (at least to me), that's just the way it is.

    Further, you can definitely tell the quality of a post in the reflection of how said sworn personnel act towards their Explorers (or if they're even aware they have a post, lol). There are agencies that have posts that are ran well: Entrance to the program is tough, staying in is competitive, work and learning is challenging but rewarding. Their uniforms and equipment are all squared away and they are fully prepared before any opportunities for ride-a-longs. In my opinion, that's where you see sworn and Explorers getting along great. On the flip side, there are posts that are ran sloppier than others and let just about anyone in, have a slow or a low level of training and just send their Explorers out with not much training. I'm sure the sworn here will chime in that they would at least want said Explorers to have the basics down before they go out riding with them. That said, there's the small slice of the pie of sworn who really genuinely do want to help, even if their Explorer is a bit of a numb-nuts.

    I'm not even going to get into the myriad of things that idiot soon-to-be Ex-Explorers do, such as: Getting cited regularly, getting hooked, drugs, alcohol, flashing ID cards or attire, impersonation, etc. That will definitely put a sour flavor in the sworn's mouth at that particular agency. Don't do that! This is why you see some Explorers go through and dislike the concept of Explorers afterward because that's all they have experienced. One can only hope you get into a well managed, organized, top-notch post that really does go the extra mile to teach you and get you on your path into law enforcement.

    Hope this helped. A lot of people seem to be chiming in on this one. I'm sure someone will have the full answer you were looking for!

    PS: You may want to continue working on your spelling/punctuation a bit if you plan on writing a lot of reports in the future!

    Keep on sponging...

    Regards,
    GZ09


    Additional: "I'm a member of our Explorer tactical team. I have attended Basic SWAT 1 and Basic LE Sniper 1" (your profile). What on Earth does this mean? What is an "Explorer Tactical Team"? What do they do exactly? Second part of two, you may want to watch how much information you put out there on the internet. I didn't even have to try to find stuff most of the people here wouldn't broadcast.
    Last edited by GreenZone09; 03-30-2012 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Added more!


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    Older thread but I read it anyways. Heres my slightly off topic advice after reading your post. It's great that you know you want to be a cop and our working towards it. That being said, you're 16. Be a kid. Don't rush it. Go out with friends and enjoy being 16. Go try to hook up with girls on a Friday night.
    For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffIL View Post
    Older thread but I read it anyways. Heres my slightly off topic advice after reading your post. It's great that you know you want to be a cop and our working towards it. That being said, you're 16. Be a kid. Don't rush it. Go out with friends and enjoy being 16. Go try to hook up with girls on a Friday night.
    This and you're one more a** I have to watch! I do things a lot differently with an Explorer in the car. Not gonna work my dope/gang spots with someone off the street I don't know. Teenagers like to "talk" and may unintentionally let people know that a dope house is hot.
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    ..............
    Last edited by NightRover; 06-27-2012 at 09:20 PM.

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    I personally am 100% against the explorer program. Why? Long answer but here it goes.

    I do not like the idea of giving kids handcuffs, DT training, allowing them access to sensitive information and giving them a sense that they are part of law enforcement. I cannot stand it when they talk about "their" arrests, "their" ops they went on, "their" this and that like they actually were doing anything but sitting in the car. Basically, they begin impersonating officers and don't even realize that they are not LEO's because they get so into it. We had one from a neighboring department explorers program show up at a local mall in a Crown Vic he had got at an auction. He had put some cheesy strobes on it to make it look semi legit and pulled a few cars over in the parking garage. Then, he got out and started walking around the mall like he was "on patrol." Mall security fortunately noticed that his car did not have non exempt plates, that his uniform looked off (generic "Police Officer" patches) and that he did have a gun and called it in. Another example would be that idiot explorer in LA who led the cops on a high speed chase and was ultimately shot to death when he ran and acted like he was pulling a gun.

    "I'm a member of our Explorer tactical team. I have attended Basic SWAT 1 and Basic LE Sniper 1" <---This is exactly the type of thing I am talking about. Please don't take it as a personal attack but as my general view of explorers overall. There is zero reason to have an explorer "tactial" anything since no explorer should be anywhere near anything that would require a swat type of response. Putting in your profile "I'm captain of my high school football team" or something along those lines is more impressive then putting that you attended a let's play cop for a day swat camp and think people actually find it to be impressive. When you are older and possibly a LEO, you will probably understand where I am coming from. Like I said though, no offense to you personally just my overall opinion.

    Even worse, I can't stand it when someone decides to hire former explorers once they apply for an actual sworn LE position. They show up at the academy like a bunch of know it all's and more often then not, get washed out (at least around here). They have a sense of entitlement like they have been there and done that. Ask them how long they have been on the job and they will tell you not their EOD hire date as a sworn LEO, but the date they started explorers "Oh yeah about 7-8 years now" translation <1 year.

    Overall like I said, I hate the program and am not a fan of the type it churns out based on my experiences and observations with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightRover View Post
    I personally am 100% against the explorer program. Why? Long answer but here it goes.

    I do not like the idea of giving kids handcuffs, DT training, allowing them access to sensitive information and giving them a sense that they are part of law enforcement. I cannot stand it when they talk about "their" arrests, "their" ops they went on, "their" this and that like they actually were doing anything but sitting in the car. Basically, they begin impersonating officers and don't even realize that they are not LEO's because they get so into it. We had one from a neighboring department explorers program show up at a local mall in a Crown Vic he had got at an auction. He had put some cheesy strobes on it to make it look semi legit and pulled a few cars over in the parking garage. Then, he got out and started walking around the mall like he was "on patrol." Mall security fortunately noticed that his car did not have non exempt plates, that his uniform looked off (generic "Police Officer" patches) and that he did have a gun and called it in. Another example would be that idiot explorer in LA who led the cops on a high speed chase and was ultimately shot to death when he ran and acted like he was pulling a gun.

    "I'm a member of our Explorer tactical team. I have attended Basic SWAT 1 and Basic LE Sniper 1" <---This is exactly the type of thing I am talking about. Please don't take it as a personal attack but as my general view of explorers overall. There is zero reason to have an explorer "tactial" anything since no explorer should be anywhere near anything that would require a swat type of response. Putting in your profile "I'm captain of my high school football team" or something along those lines is more impressive then putting that you attended a let's play cop for a day swat camp and think people actually find it to be impressive. When you are older and possibly a LEO, you will probably understand where I am coming from. Like I said though, no offense to you personally just my overall opinion.

    Even worse, I can't stand it when someone decides to hire former explorers once they apply for an actual sworn LE position. They show up at the academy like a bunch of know it all's and more often then not, get washed out (at least around here). They have a sense of entitlement like they have been there and done that. Ask them how long they have been on the job and they will tell you not their EOD hire date as a sworn LEO, but the date they started explorers "Oh yeah about 7-8 years now" translation <1 year.

    Overall like I said, I hate the program and am not a fan of the type it churns out based on my experiences and observations with it.
    Wow,

    So let me ask you something, when a random person you contact on the street who is anti-LE brings up an example of a dirty cop I bet you say something along the lines of "well just cause one cop did such and such doesn't mean were all bad". But here you are generalizing all explorers cause of one bad apple.

    Even worse, I can't stand it when someone decides to hire former explorers once they apply for an actual sworn LE position.
    So I guess none of us are ever supposed to get a job as a sworn LEOs...

    I also suppose I should go notify one of the Chief Deputies for the 4th largest Sheriff's Office in the country that he should have never gotten a job because he was an explorer.

    Thanks for painting with the broad brush there, Sir!
    Have a nice day!
    Last edited by stbspd; 07-21-2012 at 11:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stbspd View Post
    Wow,

    So let me ask you something, when a random person you contact on the street who is anti-LE brings up an example of a dirty cop I bet you say something along the lines of "well just cause one cop did such and such doesn't mean were all bad". But here you are generalizing all explorers cause of one bad apple.
    I have to agree with you on that.

    There maybe some posts that could use a bit more discipline when training is being done over. That one Explorer Post may be the bad apple (out of all the Explorer Posts that there is) you may have had an experience with. Being a Police Explorer is to give someone who is 14-21 the idea of scenarios that may come up in a Law Enforcement Role and add that in with a mix of values that a advisor may show and community service its not a bad program. In my posts or some of the posts around here (NYC), I have never seen anyone act like a buff at/not at a meeting, if anything some of us don't even mention it (Just from my personal experience). Like I said there may be that 1% that you may see that may act like a buff to their friends, but usually the rest are very nice, not arrogant not a buff around people and they don't feel entitled to anything. (Just my $0.02 and from my personal experiences)

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    Quote Originally Posted by stbspd View Post
    Wow,

    So let me ask you something, when a random person you contact on the street who is anti-LE brings up an example of a dirty cop I bet you say something along the lines of "well just cause one cop did such and such doesn't mean were all bad". But here you are generalizing all explorers cause of one bad apple.



    So I guess none of us are ever supposed to get a job as a sworn LEOs...

    I also suppose I should go notify one of the Chief Deputies for the 4th largest Sheriff's Office in the country that he should have never gotten a job because he was an explorer.
    Thanks for painting with the broad brush there, Sir!
    Have a nice day!

    Wow! I was up in the air about this topic. Now I know that explorers are super awesome! Thanks!
    For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffIL View Post
    Wow! I was up in the air about this topic. Now I know that explorers are super awesome! Thanks!
    Do you have something you want to say? Or make vague character inferences on the internet?

    Feel free to PM me, Sir!
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    Quote Originally Posted by stbspd View Post
    Wow,

    So let me ask you something, when a random person you contact on the street who is anti-LE brings up an example of a dirty cop I bet you say something along the lines of "well just cause one cop did such and such doesn't mean were all bad". But here you are generalizing all explorers cause of one bad apple.
    MY (keyword there) experience with Explorers is that the majority of them are bad apples. They aren't bad kids, but they do not know how to draw the line between being here to learn about a career and thinking they are here as actual sworn LE. That is MY experience in my geographical location like I stated above. It may be different where you are. I do not see the need or reason to give a kid a duty belt, body armor and some training and put them in a car with an individual who goes out on the street every day with a target painted on his back just because of the uniform he wears. I would like to see Explorers program run more like a well functioning citizens academy in which they can safely and effectively learn about the career without exposing them to sensitive LE only materials and training and possibly putting them in dangerous situations.

    In response to your "Chief Deputies for the 4th largest Sheriff's Office in the country." Who cares? A motivated, squared away individual will get where they need to be and overcome any and all obstacles in their way. For all you know, he was a diamond in the rough surrounded by bad apples and stood out from the proverbial pile. OR, maybe he had the pleasure of attending a well functioning, well run Explorers program compared to the ones I've seen and had experiences with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stbspd View Post
    Do you have something you want to say? Or make vague character inferences on the internet?

    Feel free to PM me, Sir!
    Case in point when I'm talking about my overall experience with Explorers. Copping an attitude with a a sworn LEO. Thanks for making my point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightRover View Post
    Case in point when I'm talking about my overall experience with Explorers. Copping an attitude with a a sworn LEO. Thanks for making my point.
    I'm not trying to "cop" (pun intended) an attitude. I just get frustrated when I get generalized with bad apples. I really do apologize if that's they way I seemed, as I belong to this site to be humble and learn. But I will defend the Explorer program when it is bad mouthed. To not defend it I feel would be turning my back on it and to me that is cowardly. Believe it or not though, Explorers is not my life.. It takes up a very small amount of my life. When I'm not at a meeting/detail or ride along I'm just like any other joe blow out there living life. Well soon that will be over because in Oct I will be a father. Right now though I am in a low point in my life and I believe that I let that materialize in my previous posts.... Again, sorry JeffIL, and KnightRover...
    Last edited by stbspd; 08-01-2012 at 02:12 AM. Reason: forgot word "not"
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightRover View Post
    A motivated, squared away individual

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    You're a Marine aren't you?

    If so, thank you for your service.
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    It is a mixed bag. At least one person from my explorer academy is sitting in state prison. However, I know of several current cops (including myself, my beat partner, another coworker, and a buddy at another agency) who were all explorers.

    Personally, I am fine with explorers after I get to know you. If you are still immature, that is going to be tough. It also matters if you are under/over 18. Under presents some inherent risks because now I have a duty to actually care for you. Over you are pretty much on your own.

    I can appreciate what NightRover is talking about. The programs I have seen (the one I was at and my current department) the explorers do not have weapons or duty belts. Given that there is at least one situation where an explorer had to kill a suspect who critically wounded the officer, I support giving them armor to wear.
    Last edited by RGDS; 08-17-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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    I have mixed feelings on explorers. I can vouch for our explorers in that they don't wear anything remotely close to a police uniform. Polo's and khakis. This helps keep down the "Immacop!" mentality. I've helped with larger competitions where the kids scare me, like the 18-20 years olds talking about which handgun is "the best for duty" and "in their experience."

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