October 22, 2021

Police team with Scouts for program

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Officer Mike Howell of the Homer Police Department prepares to go out on patrol Friday. The police department is planning to begin a local Explorer chapter to introduce young people to potential careers in law enforcement.

As part of a new program in the works at the Village Police Department, children in the community can attend meetings once a month and become introduced to different forms of law enforcement.

The Explorer program will introduce law enforcement to children in the community by hosting presentations.

The program is open to young people, between the ages of 14 and 20, thinking about a career in law enforcement, said Chief Robert Pitman.

Pitman said the idea for the program came from explorer programs in other agencies and the Junior Police Academy.

The Homer Police will be teaming up with the Boy Scouts of America, said Christian Averill, senior district executive for the Taughannock District which covers the counties of Cortland, Chenango, Tompkins and part of Broome.

As the charter organization, the Boy Scouts will provide materials and resources to run the program with the police, Averill said. The program is coed and gives youths who are interested in law enforcement a chance to get involved, Averill said.

The group will meet at least once a month for an hour to an hour and a half and introduce practical experience and training to members, Pitman said. At each meeting different presentations will be given to the kids.

Past cases, overview of crime scenes, canine unit demonstrations and a mock trial are just some of the presentations Pitman said he has in mind.

Pitman also hopes to build the program to a point where children can travel to Washington, D.C., for Law Enforcement Weekend, he said.

Village police held a meeting Thursday evening at the Homer Elementary School cafeteria to introduce the public to the program, Pitman said. Four youths signed up.

Pitman said there is no limit on the number of people who can sign up. Children interested in the program can stop in at the Homer Village Police Department and pick up an application.

There is a fee to participate in the program, Pitman said. The department plans to host another meeting in March, although details are not yet available, Pitman said.