Griffin-Spalding Explorers is an organization for youths who are interested in a career in law enforcement. Jointly led by members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and Griffin Police Department, group members learn various aspects of law enforcement and then compete against other Explorer posts.
The group is looking for new members. It is open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 20 who has an interest in a law enforcement career.
Capt. Frank Clark of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office helps lead the program along with Investigator DJ King of the Griffin Police Department.
Clark said the program allows members the opportunity to experience law enforcement and to consider if it is the right career for them. It also helps those in law enforcement recruit new officers.
“It’s a never-ending process of looking for new recruits,” he said.
He said that organizers try to make training and competitions as realistic as possible while still being safe.
“It’s a positive thing because we’ve had a few (members) that went on to stay in law enforcement,” he said.
He said that the training is character-building for all who participate regardless of their chosen career.
The group meets every Thursday where Clark said they learn about different aspects of law enforcement. Then, they travel to several competitions each year to demonstrate what they have learned.
Some of the categories they compete in include hostage negotiations, crime scene processing, active shooter scenarios, felony traffic stops and more. After the competition, they are scored and their performance is reviewed. Clark said it gives them a chance to discuss what went well and where they can improve.
An open house will be held at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office at 401 Justice Blvd., Griffin, on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. for anyone who would like to learn more about the Explorer program. Parents are welcome.
A demonstration of how the Explorers train for competitions will be given during the open house.