Suwannee Democrat

Local News

November 29, 2012

PCS donates 10 grand to HamCo Sheriffs Explorers

Jasper — On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Public Affairs Manager Mike Williams from PotashCorp in White Springs presented the Florida Sheriffs Explorers of Hamilton County with a check for $10,000 as a donation to further the efforts of the program.

The local Sheriffs Explorers are led by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Emily Lumpkin with assistance from Deputy Mike Cohen and Tom and Beverly Brazil. The Brazil’s both worked for the Sheriff’s Office in Monroe County and after retiring they relocated to Hamilton County.

“They did the Explorer program down there, so they have agreed to help us,” said HCSO Sheriff Harrell Reid.

In previous thriving years the Hamilton County Commissioners funded the Explorers program, Reid said, but due to cutbacks, that funding has dwindled, although they were able to apportion some of their funds to the program this year.

“The Explorers have a couple of conferences each year, as well as statewide training where they have competitions, among other things,” said Reid.

Since funds have been limited, Reid said it prevented the Explorers from attending many of the state’s events.

“With this donation from PCS they’ll be able to go this year,” Reid said.

The money, he explained, will pay for their motel rooms and registration to a lot of the events.

Sheriffs' offices in Florida have been faced with the challenge of recruiting talented individuals to serve and protect the state, so in the 60s the Law Enforcement Explorer Program was instituted and started as a division of the Boy Scouts of America. It was a way to attract motivated youth who had an interest in a career in law enforcement.

Today’s Sheriffs Explorer program allows young adults ages 14 to 21 to be associated with a Sheriff’s Office, so they can learn about the profession and make a decision as to whether or not it’s the right career choice for them.

They receive training in the basics of law enforcement that includes traffic control, report writing and radio procedures. They’re also given the opportunity to assist officers in controlled settings, such as parades and athletic events. Many also learn about firearm safety and marksmanship. It is a mutually beneficial experience because oftentimes officers learn from their Explorers.

“Mike, we appreciate this,” said Reid. “It means a lot to them. There are a lot of things they would not have been able to attend and participate in without this generous donation.”

Lumpkin agreed and said, “I’d like to thank PCS for their continued support of the Sheriffs Explorer program.”

After the check presentation Williams told the Explorers, “There are a lot of other things you could be doing other than this, but most of it could get you in trouble. This is truly a good opportunity for you to get to work with some of the finest men and women in the county, and law enforcement. They’ll teach you a lot of good things and keep you out of trouble.”

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