In conjunction with the Boys Scouts the Salem Police Department sponsors Explorer Post 606. The post is comprised of youth ranging from the ages of 14-21 and is led by a group of Advisors, all of which are Police Officers with the City of Salem. The Salem Police Explorers were originally founded under the leadership of Chief Harry T. Haskins, in 1976 as a Cadet program. After five years the Cadet program was phased out and reemerged as an Explorer Post. The mission of the Salem Police Explorer Post is to provide career opportunities, build character development, teach life skills, encourage citizenship, and gain leadership experience. The Explorer Post meets twice a month, once on the first Tuesday of the month and once on the third Tuesday of the month, meetings are generally held at the Salem Police Department. Each meeting consists of business which is followed by training; business can consist of the review of meeting minutes, community service projects and volunteer opportunities. All training is completed at meetings or on scheduled training days, and is normally taught by Advisors, training consists of classroom teaching and hands-on exercises. After extensive training Explorers who meet the requirements are allowed to partake in a ride-along program, that allows them to observe police work first hand.
The Explorers are also an active part of the community, staying involved in crime prevention activities, such as McGruff, the Virginia State Police sponsored Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T) program and assisting with the D.A.R.E program. Each year under the supervision of Advisors Explorers take part in the annual Christmas Parade, the Salem Fair, and Relay for Life. Every year in the last weekend of January the Post participates in Winterfest, a competition for Law Enforcement Explorers held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Over 50 Explorer Post’s attend with over 2,000 Explorers. In 2009 the Salem Police Explorer Post placed 1st in the DUI competition.
Currently the Explorer Post consists of 12 members from multiple locations within the Roanoke Valley. While most members are students at Salem High School, the Explorer Post also has members attending Hidden Valley High School, Cave Spring High School, Glenvar High School, Andrew Lewis Middle School, Roanoke College, Appalachian State University and Averett University.
Currently the Post has four advisors:
Senior Advisor-Sergeant Stacey Sheppard
Associate Advisor-Senior Officer Scott Sheppard
Associate Advisor-Senior Officer William Weeks
Associate Advisor-Senior Officer Josh Shelor
Sergeant Sheppard, Senior Officer Weeks, and Officer Shelor all were prior Explorers with the Salem Police Explorers. With over 30 years of history the Explorer has gradually become what it is today.
Applications are always accepted. Applicants can apply by calling an Advisor and must submit to a thorough background investigation. All applicants must maintain a 2.5 GPA and have a clean driving record if they are of driving age. We prepare today’s youth for tomorrows law enforcement. Could this be you?