BEDFORD, N.Y. — The Bedford Police Department’s Explorer Program is designed for local high school students who want a sneak peek at a career in law enforcement.
Wednesday night, eight students graduated from the program in a ceremony at the Bedford Courthouse.
Under the program, established in January 2011, participants ages 14 to 20 are trained in first aid and CPR, penal law, crime prevention, self-defense, the court system, defensive driving and traffic control.
Funded by the police department’s operational budget, the Explorer Program holds classes every Tuesday evening for 16 weeks. Participants also get the chance to hear guest speakers from the FBI, the Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Bedford Detective Joseph Comunale, who directs the program, said the students “really get a sense of what it’s like to be a police officer in a small town.”
During the program, the students, mostly from Katonah and Mount Kisco, have the opportunity to go on police car ride-alongs. It is such a safe community, Comunale said, that ride-alongs are appropriate educational components. “We’re not putting them in really dangerous situations,” said Comunale.
At one of the last ride-alongs, Comunale said, students were exhilarated to see an arrest situation firsthand, when police came upon two 22-year-olds smoking marijuana in a parked car on Croton Lake Road and seized two large bags of marijuana.
Graduating students include, from John Jay High School: sophomores Sam Ceisler and Joseph Mangione and freshmen Ben Smith, Alan Oltman and Carter Henry.
From Fox Lane High School, graduates are junior Stephanie Discua and senior Andriy Lypchuck, and from the Harvey School, junior Kamiki Mereigh.
Also at the ceremony, Fox Lane junior Bryan Maidana and Stephen Rivera, a freshman at community college, were promoted to lieutenant, while John Jay junior Mike Geremino was promoted to sergeant.
As graduates, the students will be able to accompany police officers on special traffic and parking assignments at carnivals and parades.
For more information about the program, contact Detective Joseph Comunale at 914-241-2953 or Officer William Smith at 914-241-3111.