This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
The Longmont Police Explorers had another successful year competing in the Night Moves competition.
The Night Moves competition, held in September, hosted 20 teams of four explorers each. Each team competed in nine different scenarios which included:
- DUI Investigation
- Intoxicated Person Contact
- Assault Investigation
- Defensive Tactics
- Shooting Simulator
- Theft Report
- Suspicious Person
- Traffic Accident
- Domestic Violence
Longmont's Explorers took 1st place in the DUI Investigation, 1st place in defensive tactics, and 3rd place in assault investigation.
"Events like this allow them to foster skills such as teamwork, communication, and empathy for people that they potentially could deal with in real life. The explorers also must use logic and process the calls accordingly to come up with a successful outcome," states Melinda Burnett, Longmont Police Explorer coordinator.
While it is the hope of instructors like Burnett that these youths become law enforcement officers, they know that many will choose other careers. However, the goal of teaching Explorers is not only to foster budding law enforcement officers but to help develop active, contributing members of society.
One of the main goals is to teach Explorers how to "process limited information quickly and make the best possible decision
on the fly," says Burnett.
Burnett began participating in the Explorer program in 2012 as a way to connect with young adults in our community. During the "first nine years I working the overnight shift on patrol, I did not want to start thinking that all young adults were out in the community causing problems. I was looking for a little perspective and to interact with young adults who were
working to better themselves and their community."
As coordinator of the program, Burnett is able to teach these young adults that actions and decisions have consequences, "sometimes irreversible consequences."
In order to teach this lesson, the Explorers focus on learning a sense of purpose, a duty to others, when it is ok to be a little bit selfish, when to put the needs of others first, and the responsibility that comes with power.
Night Moves is just one of the ways that Longmont's Explorers are recognized for their hard work and dedication to the program.