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Teen Explorers Program In "the News"...

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  • Teen Explorers Program In "the News"...

    This is a great way to build up community spirit and support... ya Right!

    Teens Allegedly Molested In Police Explorers Program

    POSTED: 7:28 a.m. EDT June 25, 2003 http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2292129/detail.html

    A Boy Scouts' program designed to give young people a close-up look at police work is coming under fire.

    A report says at least a dozen teenagers assigned to work with police departments as part of the Law Enforcement Explorers program have allegedly been sexually abused by officers during the past year.

    In the past five years, such molestations number at least 25, according to research by two Nebraska criminologists being released Wednesday.

    Law Enforcement Explorers is a co-ed program affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. The broader scouts Exploring program also places 14-to-20-year-olds with firefighters, medical providers, lawyers and others to learn about those careers.

    Boy Scouts of America officials say they're surprised and concerned to learn of the alleged incidents. Sponsors have promised reforms to the program, which attracts tens of thousands of teens annually.
    Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  • #2
    It is sickening. But I beat you to posting it,posted this in the OD this morning.


    • #3
      Ya well provincial/state time zones have a lot to do with that.
      If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

      "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

      "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

      Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

      impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

      IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


      • #4
        Not to trivialize this issue but be honest. Did anyone else think "Thank God it wasn't firefighters this time" when they read this story?


        • #5
          Hell... Forget about firefighters... Thank God it wasn't about a church!


          • #6
            i wish i could say this caught me off-guard, but unfortunately it didnt. this happened to 3 explorers in our fire program about 3 years ago. i really dont want to go into detail, but they were endangered by an advisor who was also a police officer. dfd is right, it's extremely sickening and disheartening.


            • #7
              Here is a story that seems to be familiar, but from a different department.

              St. Petersburg Times, Pinellas County

              Largo Explorer hazing incidents prompt inquiry
              Three members are dismissed and the Police Explorers program is suspended for 30 days after the out-of-town pranks in May.
              By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer
              © St. Petersburg Times
              published June 28, 2003

              LARGO - The police department's youth Explorer program, which had been on the rebound after a high-profile sex scandal several years ago, is in trouble again after department leaders learned of hazing pranks during a trip to a statewide meeting.

              After a seven-week investigation, police Chief Lester Aradi has kicked three youngsters out of the program. He also has suspended the Explorer program for 30 days while he decides whether to ditch it.

              Aradi said he hopes to keep the program because of its benefit to youngsters. But if he does, it will be with stricter guidelines that outlaw hazing.

              But Aradi acknowledges the program may be in jeopardy because of the latest accusations, which include Explorers handcuffing each other, spraying each other with shaving cream and forcibly dressing up a male colleague like a woman.

              "We don't want to lose this program," he said. "It offers a lot to the kids."

              The Largo Explorer program was wrapped in scandal several years ago when some police officers were accused of having sexual relations with female Explorers. One officer admitted having sex with a 17-year-old female Explorer in 1990. He later resigned, but was not criminally charged because the statute of limitations had expired.

              A recently released study also shows that at least a dozen teen Explorers have been sexually abused by police officers nationwide in the past year. The co-ed program is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and has about 43,000 youngsters.

              The latest accusations in Largo have no similarities to the sex scandal, though Aradi said some of the Explorers' actions were embarrassing and disturbing. Aradi said some of the explorers' activities bordered on criminal, though no one on the receiving end of the shenanigans wished to prosecute.

              The incidents occurred the first weekend in May when eight of the department's 20 Explorer members, ages 14 to 20, attended a conference in Palmetto. Hotel accommodations there were paid for by the city.

              On the first night, several Explorers held one Scout down and removed his pants and shirt, then dressed him in a halter top, sequin pants and makeup. The Explorer then was forced out of the hotel room. There were varying accounts of how much force was used on the Explorer, who later told police he was not hurt nor upset by what had happened.

              The next day, three Explorers went into another member's room to spray her with shaving cream. The Explorer responded by chasing the others while wearing only pants, a bra and a towel around her top. She entered a male Explorer's room, then was grabbed, handcuffed, led to the bathroom and sprayed again.

              Other female Explorers were handcuffed to shower curtain rods and doused with shaving cream and water. One female Explorer was photographed in her bra.

              No one was injured during the pranks, though one female Explorer told investigators she had been tightly handcuffed and was upset and on the verge of tears.

              "Throughout the interviews it became apparent that handcuffing and spraying shaving cream on fellow Explorers is an accepted practice," Capt. Miranda Anderson wrote in a summary of the investigation.

              The Explorers also wrapped a hotel toilet in plastic wrap, rubbed shaving cream on a sleeping Explorer and prank-called the rooms of Explorers from other posts.

              Police learned the pranks were a form of initiation for those members attending their first statewide conference.

              The officer adviser of the post told investigators that shaving cream fights and handcuffing had been tolerated to a lesser extent, though she felt the behavior at the conference in Palmetto was inappropriate.

              Investigators also found that a small number of other Explorer posts also pulled pranks from time to time, but none as extensive as the Largo tomfoolery.

              When advisers found out about the hi-jinks, they told Aradi, who immediately pulled his Explorers out of a statewide competition and ordered the investigation, which was completed Thursday.

              "They brought it to my attention and it disturbed me," the chief said. "A shaving cream fight is one thing, but forcibly handcuffing someone or dressing someone like a female and pushing them into a hallway is different."

              Aradi kicked three people out of the post after the investigation, including the 20-year-old captain of the group. Aradi acknowledged that captain may have been given too much responsibility at the conference.

              Both advisers also have left the program, but for reasons unrelated to the investigation. A list of recommendations formed by Anderson includes stricter curfew monitors by advisers.

              On Friday morning, Aradi faxed news organizations a detailed four-page summary of the investigation, then agreed to meet with reporters during the day. Aradi said he knew the investigation would be newsworthy and he wanted to be upfront about it.

              "We have tried to set the tone here that you don't try to cover it up," Aradi said.

              He said some parents believe he is overreacting.

              The Largo Explorers receive some police training and participate in state police skill competitions, which can help them prepare for a career in law enforcement.

              Now, Aradi must decide what to do with the Explorers program. Budget concerns are a factor, considering the money for the program has slipped from about $10,000 per year to about $3,000. It's also hard to find advisers, Aradi said, though one officer has already volunteered.

              Aradi said a lot will depend on the remaining members and if they want to stay with the program. If not, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has an Explorer unit. Clearwater police eliminated their program last spring because of a lack of interest.

              If the program stays alive, Aradi said new rules could prohibit the use of handcuffs as well as mixed sexes visiting each other's hotel rooms.

              "This ends now," he said.

              - Chris Tisch can be reached at 445-4156 or [email protected]
              09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
              IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
              "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
              BMI Investigator
              The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


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