2013 Explorer Post Advisor of the Year
Washington County, Utah
NSA is pleased to announce that Oscar Garcia of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in St. George, Utah has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Law Enforcement Explorer Post Advisor Award. The Law Enforcement Explorer Post Advisor Award was presented at the General Session on Monday, June 24th at NSA’s Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In April 2006 Oscar retired as a deputy from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. During his time with Riverside County he spent a couple of years as the Explorer Advisor as well as assisted with an annual Law Enforcement Explorer Academy hosted by the Sheriff’s Department.
In July 2007 he was hired by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in southern Utah as a civilian training coordinator. Two months after being hired, Oscar went to the sheriff and requested to start a Law Enforcement Explorer Post. The sheriff granted his request. In February 2008, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office had its explorer post up and running.
The majority of the explorers that have been recruited come from local middle and high schools. The post remains at a constant 25 explorers. No one is accepted into the program until they have attended four consecutive meetings. After the fourth meeting if they wish to continue with the program they are scheduled for a formal interview and then become an official member of the post.
In March 2012 the first explorer captain was hired by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. There are currently four explorers that have submitted employment applications and one of them has been with the program since the very beginning.
The Sheriff’s Office created a “Corrections Internship Academy” specifically for the explorers aged 18 years or older. After completing orientation in the academy the explorers are permitted to work four shifts in the jail where they are assigned to a Correctional Training Officer. They are allowed to work in central, max booking, transportation, and shown how to check in visitors.
The explorers have had the opportunity to participate in the following training programs: defensive tactics, report writing, vehicle searches, and forensics. A monthly newsletter is sent to all explorers to keep them informed of what training and events are available.
All of this was made possible for the youth in the area because of Oscar’s hard work and drive to want to give youth an opportunity to become familiar with law enforcement. The explorers program has far exceeded expectations.
NSA established the Law Enforcement Explorer Post Advisor Award in 1988 to recognize a post advisor for outstanding contributions to a law enforcement explorer post sponsored by a sheriff's office. Candidates are judged on their recruiting efforts, size of post and tenure of explorers, written program plans, explorer training, and post activities.
This year's award is sponsored by GTL.