Mandan Police Explorer Program provides real world law enforcement experience

MANDAN, N.D. - The Mandan Police Explorer Program launched last summer. Since, then the department has been able to recruit 13 explorers.

The explorers ages14 to 21 have undergone different kinds of law enforcement training.

Whether it's physical training, the honoring of the colors, or going on ride along the police department says these kids are getting real world experience to move their law enforcement careers ahead.

"It opens your eyes about the community and it teaches you I guess discipline and responsibility. And just paying attention to the things around you," said Explorer Program Capt. Kaylee Krause.

"When I go into the academy it's kind of easier to go through schooling,” said explorer Cody Holzer.

But can a program like this eventually benefit the officer shortage at the Mandan department?

At the end there could be perks to the program, but so, as a recruiting tool it's not what the explorer program is. It's strictly just for children who are interested in law enforcement and giving them that opportunity to see what it's like," said student resource officer David Tomnlinson.

"Same vetting process we put any new candidate through If selected then we would send them to the academy. What gives them the advantage is that they, they know how the law enforcement profession works," said Mandan Police Chief Jason Zieglar.

He says since our initial story about the officer shortage at the Mandan Police Department they have hired three officers, two whom are headed to the academy and one who is starting field training.

The Explorer Program hopes to continuing growing.

Their next meeting is on the Feb. 8. You can contact The Mandan Police Department if you're interested in being a part of the program