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New Flathead County Explorer program is giving teens hands-on experience in law enforcement

Flathead County Explorer Program
Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 18:23:25-05

KALISPELL - A handful of dedicated Flathead students are jumping into the law enforcement field and keeping people safe through the Flathead County Explorer Program.

“You know, basically they're going to help. They're going to be under direct supervision of our Posse Reserve Program. They'll assist us in ways that we can keep them comfortable but also gives them a little bit of a touch of what law enforcement does each day,” said Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Posse Explorer Post is for youth ages 14 to 20 with an interest in law enforcement or other related fields. The post will give them hands-on experience by volunteering to patrol events across the valley.

“I wanted to become an explorer because all my life I've been passionate about cops, I grew up watching cops on TV. I just really wanted to change our country and our city. I just wanted to fight crime and be someone that people will look up to,” said Flathead County Sheriff's Posse Explorer Ryder Lake.

The Flathead County Post is the only explorer post in the State of Montana and with the constant need for more officers, this is a good way to expose the next generation to the reality of the job.

“I think today we see law enforcement, kind of looking at that next generation. And this is an exciting step for that. So they get some basic information about what they do, can make some better choices on whether this is a career for them. But it's also exciting to kind of interact with them and to get a feel of, you know, what they're seeing their perceptions. But again, it's a proud moment today, we got to welcome these individuals into their our community and our family of the sheriff's office,” said Sheriff Heino.

There will be more explorer groups in the future. If you are interested in the program contact the Flathead County Sheriff's Office at 406-758-5610.