A Santa Maria-based educational program for teens and young adults interested in law enforcement and public safety, the Central Coast Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, saw the graduation of 41 students last week.
The cadets, ages 14 to 20, graduated in a celebration held at Santa Maria’s Ernest Righetti High School last Saturday, after completing two weeks of training alongside local law enforcement personnel. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown oversaw a “final inspection” of the trainees, who received certificates of completion and a range of awards, according to a press release.
The academy includes an intense level of training that challenges the commitment and work ethic of its participants, according to a statement by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Robertson, who has been involved with the program since 2007.
“Every day they’re challenged mentally and physically to the point of exhaustion,” Robertson said. “They’re volunteers, without a paycheck for motivation to bring them back day after day. Their motivation to come back is based on their pride and determination to succeed.”
The program educates students in basic operations of law enforcement with the help of several local agencies, including the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Maria Police Department, Santa Barbara Police Department, Lompoc Police Department, Guadalupe Police Department, and the Arroyo Grande Police Department.