This summer, July 21–26, 2008, the biennial National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference will convene for the 16th time. Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, will host the 2008 conference. Law Enforcement Exploring boasts a rich history of improving the lives of young adults and preparing them for futures in law enforcement and leadership positions.Since the first conference with nearly 1,000 participants at Michigan State University in 1979, the event has been a big hit for employers, police officers, and young adults, providing hands-on experience in several areas of the law enforcement profession. With posts all over the United States—there are more than 100 in New York and 24 within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department alone—Exploring can reach thousands of young, eager students with potential interest in law enforcement careers.
This year’s conference expects 3,500 Law Enforcement Explorers; 600 sworn police officer advisers; and 500 volunteers from military, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Part of the conference includes a three-day career fair, coordinated by the IACP, that proves to be an excellent and cost-effective way for universities, law enforcement agencies, and public security agencies to reach qualified candidates for enrollment or employment.
Although the career fair makes up a large part of the conference, planned activities and outings encourage learning and leadership growth. Explorers can participate in more than 10 team competitions, such as crime scene search, shoot/don’t shoot, and hostage negotiation; several individual events, such as the emergency vehicle operations course (EVOC) and a sample written academy examination; and seminars covering such topics as gang recognition and identification as well as narcotics trafficking and identification.The week-long conference provides an opportunity to enrich the program of each Explorer post and help create new posts. It also encourages posts to incorporate the five areas of program emphasis into their own activities: career opportunities, citizenship, leadership experience, life skills, and character education.
The range of benefits for students and agencies attending the conference is vast, including increasing interest in continuing education, fostering good relationships with the community, and preparing youths to enter the workforce as young professionals. The National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference has something for everyone involved. For more information about the conference and Law Enforcement Exploring, visit http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/lawenforcement.
From The Police Chief, vol. LXXV, no. 4, April 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.