Crystal, New Hope, Robbinsdale Launch West Metro Police Explorer Program
Three police departments in the western suburbs are launching a joint police explorer program with the long-term goal of attracting new recruits.
Crystal, Robbinsdale and New Hope police have joined forces to start the West Metro Police Explorer Program. The program is open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 20 that’s interested in learning more about law enforcement.
Sgt. Brandon Dorr with the Crystal Police Department said that the program aims to provide youth in the community with mentorship.
“What we try to do is really develop young adults,” Dorr said. “Confidence, teamwork, problem-solving skills, things like that. We really watch them grow as young adults.”
Previously, Crystal and New Hope had their own explorer programs, while Robbinsdale did not, Dorr said.
Crystal’s program went on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the city is aiming to bring it back with the partnership.
“The three cities in general, we work a lot together,” Dorr said. “We figured we’d combine our services and make one bigger post.”
West Metro Police Explorers Get Hands-On Experience
Participants get training on a variety of law enforcement scenarios like traffic stops, witness interviews and emergency first aid.
“We like to get them some hands-on experience and really have them try to understand what it is truly like to be a police officer,” Dorr said.
Police hope to recruit future officers from the West Metro Police Explorer program.
“Several officers who are both Crystal, Robbinsdale and New Hope have been explorers whether it’s been in the area or other places,” Dorr said. “I personally was an explorer as well. I spent six years as an explorer, and I can tell you I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for the program.”
Program participants will also conduct community service during public events.
“They will be out in the community, they will have community ties,” Dorr said. “It’s not just sitting in a room, listening to an instructor.”
Crystal Community Service Officer Frank Deblieck spent three years as an explorer before joining the force as a CSO.
“Even if law enforcement isn’t your thing, it’s something that I believe is worth going into,” he said.
The first meeting of the West Metro Police Explorers program is Monday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Crystal Police Department.