PORTERDALE -- Police Chief Geoff Jacobs and his officers are reaching out to young people through the establishment of a Police Explorers post sponsored by the department.
Jacobs said the goal of the program, which provides real-world career experiences, is to give youngsters ages 14-19 an opportunity to see if law enforcement is a career path they'd like to follow.
"Every occupation has this through the Boy Scouts of America and a company called Learning for Life," Jacobs explained. "They have Explorer programs for almost any occupation, so law enforcement training is just one section of it."
Jacobs said the Porterdale Police Department will host a recruitment night on March 8 at 6 p.m., at Police Department headquarters. Youngsters interested in participating should attend with a parent or guardian and fill out an application. Those who join the program will have to pass background check before being accepted into the program, he said.
Once up and running, Jacobs said the Explorer post will meet twice each month where members will gain instruction on different aspects of law enforcement.
"They may do a ride-along with an officer," said Jacobs. "They may be going to the shooting range; they probably will be touring the jail; they will be here doing some instruction on traffic stops; how to handle domestic situations, without getting too in-depth with that; different subjects that might be involved in police work. They also get instruction on uniforms and inspections and how to look sharp in their uniforms."
Jacobs said the program is not restricted to Porterdale residents. He has set a tentative membership cap of 15, but added that no one who wants to join will be turned away based on that limit.
Jacobs added that participants will have the opportunity to compete with other posts as their training progresses.
For more information, call the Porterdale Police Department at 770-786-2226.