MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Local high school students participating in the Police Explorers program celebrated their hard work Wednesday at a holiday party at Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco.
The Law Enforcement Exploring program is a national educational initiative designed for high school students who want to learn about careers in law enforcement.
Under the program, participants ages 14 to 20 are trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, penal law, crime prevention, self-defense, the court system, defensive driving and traffic control. Students also get a firsthand view doing ride-alongs with patrol officers.
Around 50 youths from various Explorer posts at town police departments all over Westchester enjoyed bowling and pizza Wednesday with 15 officers who serve as their post advisers.
The purpose of Wednesday night’s event was "just getting all the Explorer posts together from all the different towns," said Bedford Detective Joseph Comunale, who runs the Bedford post. The get-together included Explorers from the Mount Pleasant, Greenburgh and Croton posts, as well as the county post.
Bedford's Explorer program holds classes one evening a week for 16 weeks. As graduates, the students are able to accompany police officers on special traffic and parking assignments at carnivals and parades.
In fact, at its Tuesday meeting, the Bedford Town Board approved the department's hiring of a recent Police Explorer graduate. Stephen Rivera was hired to work part-time as a parking enforcement officer. He will cover certain Saturdays providing parking enforcement in all three hamlets.
At Tuesday's meeting, Police Chief William Hayes called Rivera “a success story."
"This is the end result of what I hoped this program would achieve," Hayes said, "and that is directing young people toward positions in law enforcement."
For more information about joining the Bedford Police Explorers, contact Comunale at 914-241-2953 or Police Officer William Smith at 914-241-3111.