The 45th Precinct Explorers Program got a much-needed shot in the arm recently. The program which operates in every precinct in the borough will continue attracting young people to professional law enforcement as a career option and build confidence.
William Montanaro, director of law enforcement programing for Learning for Life’s New York Explorers was on hand at St. Frances de Chantal church recently as the precinct’s program received a New York State grant.
Montanaro said that without grants, like the $5000 received from Senator Jeff Klein, young people would not have all the opportunities to shadow adults in the police force, go on camping trips, and learn about what police do through mirroring them.
“Grants like this are very important,” Montanero said. “The NYPD takes the lion’s [share] of all funding for law enforcement explorers programs. Commissioner Raymond Kelly is the chairman of our board and he has mandated that all police precincts have explorers programs.”
According to Angie Teran, a parent of one of the 45 Precinct explorers, the program has done wonders for many young people in terms of helping them to develop leadership skills and introducing them to aspects of careers in law enforcement.
“Explorers are given the opportunity to do community service and be a part of a para-military program which instills confidence and also gives them a career path,” Teran stated. “Young people ages 14 to 21 who are interested in a career in law enforcement or the military should join.”
Teran said that among the perks that her son Jacob receives from the program is a paid uniform, as well as a yearly recogintion dinner that has been hosted for free by the NYPD, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security in years’ past, The young people can earn varaious ranks: sargent, corporal, inspector, deputy inpector, and chief of the borough. The NYPD also offers explorers the opportunity to go through a cadet training program, which allows them to enter the NYC Police Academy after taking only 30 college credits, with the NYPD paying for the remainder of the college courses at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“The kids really like it alot: they get to be an insider on the police force before becoming police officers,” Teran, who has two sons who were or are in the Explorers Program both at the 45th or 49th precincts. “They also have the opportunity to earn college credit.”