Cops of tomorrow put to test
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jul 20, 2012 | 9579 views | 4 4 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy Police Explorers storm a bus as they search for a man with a gun in a bus assault scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorers storm a bus as they search for a man with a gun in a bus assault scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
Tracy Police Explorer Daniele Schmig photographs blood near the victim as she leads her team through a search for evidence during the crime scene scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorer Daniele Schmig photographs blood near the victim as she leads her team through a search for evidence during the crime scene scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy Police Explorer Chase Martinez watches the car as his partner Trevor Lewis writes a traffic citation during the traffic stop scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorer Chase Martinez watches the car as his partner Trevor Lewis writes a traffic citation during the traffic stop scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy Police Explorer Daniele Schmig searches the area near a simulated victim for evidence during the crime scene scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorer Daniele Schmig searches the area near a simulated victim for evidence during the crime scene scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy Police Explorer Monica Bravo collects shell casings during the crime scene scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorer Monica Bravo collects shell casings during the crime scene scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. The Tracy Explorers won the crime scene event. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy Police Explorer  Trevor Lewis hands the traffic citation to Tracy Police officer Amber Moon playing the role of a driver while Tracy Police traffic officer Jim Winston grades his performance at traffic stop  scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorer Trevor Lewis hands the traffic citation to Tracy Police officer Amber Moon playing the role of a driver while Tracy Police traffic officer Jim Winston grades his performance at traffic stop scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy Police Explorer  Trevor Lewis writes a traffic citation as Tracy Police traffic officer Jim Winston grades his performance at traffic stop  scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Police Explorer Trevor Lewis writes a traffic citation as Tracy Police traffic officer Jim Winston grades his performance at traffic stop scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Explorers from the Elk Grove police department detain a man in a high-risk traffic stop scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Explorers from the Elk Grove police department detain a man in a high-risk traffic stop scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy Explorer Andrew Glover carries the shield as he leads a team to the bus door as they prepare to board and look for a man with a gun in a bus assault scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Explorer Andrew Glover carries the shield as he leads a team to the bus door as they prepare to board and look for a man with a gun in a bus assault scenario at a statewide competition for police explorers hosted in Tracy. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A woman screams, “Help, help us!” while another yells “Call 911!” as six officers crouch alongside a school bus in a vacant lot at the abandoned Holly Sugar Co. factory. Shots ring out as the team of rescuers boards the bus, and within minutes, the gunman is led away in handcuffs.

The simulated hostage rescue is over.

The scenario was one of 12 events that tested police explorer teams from across California at the second Central Valley Explorer Challenge on July 13 to 16 at West High School and the empty sugar mill in rural Tracy.

After the bus evacuation, Tracy Explorer Travis Alexander, 17, said he wanted to do it again, flying paint-pellet rounds and all.

“I was worried if I was going to get shot or not,” he said. “I heard the gunshots and I thought, ‘Oh man, this is real.’”

Tracy Police Department explorer adviser Wesley Bancroft, who was one of the organizers, said 27 teams from as far away as the Mexican and Oregon borders competed in the event designed to put young law enforcement hopefuls through their paces.

“It’s all about letting people between the ages of 14 and 21 see what law enforcement is all about and if it is a career they want to pursue,” Bancroft said Saturday, July 14, standing outside a West High music room transformed into a burglary-in-progress scenario.

“Last year we had 16 teams, and those came back (this year) and told surrounding agencies about it,” he said.

The goal of each team was to win as many scenarios as possible during the three days. Winning teams were presented with plaques and medals. To expand this year’s competition, Bancroft said, organizers added three optional events: drill, obstacle course and tug of war.

“This was a huge success this year,” Bancroft said. “Got all reviews, written critiques, and everything was excellent. Out of 27 (teams), every one said they would be coming back next year.”

As the event is organized by police departments in Tracy, Manteca, Ripon and Modesto, a different community becomes the host each year. Plans are under way to visit Ripon next year, Bancroft said.



Tracy’s trio of firsts

Taking top honors during the weekend was the team from South Lake Tahoe Police Department, which received the Chief’s Award for winning the most scenarios with six first-place finishes, Bancroft said. He said every team achieved at least one first-, second- or third-place finish during the competition.

The Tracy explorer team placed first in the scenarios for burglary in progress, crime scene and domestic disturbance.

“It’s a good learning experience,” said 20-year-old Andrew Glover, who is a lieutenant on the Tracy squad. “We train in the classroom and go over the steps — big difference doing it (here) than in the classroom setting.”

Tracy Explorer Sgt. Trysta Rasmussen, 19, said members were each given the opportunity to decide in which scenario they wanted to compete.

The adviser for the U.S. Border Patrol group, Noe Paraza, said several of the scenarios his 26-member team competed in were not typical for their training, but they provided a good learning experience.

“This is my first year here,” Paraza said. “I’ve never been up this far north, and I’m having fun. The kids are having a lot of fun. We’d definitely come again. They’re already looking forward to next year.”



Lifelike action

Several scenarios that involved the “bad guys” shooting back with paint-pellet rounds proved the most realistic and most popular among the explorers.

Observing the explorers during the bus assault, Modesto Police Department Sgt. Kelly Scott said the goal was to see how they worked as a team, pinpointed the threat and handled it as quickly as possible.

“They (Tracy) did really well,” he said. “We’re putting them in a scenario that our SWAT team trains in. They’re doing a good job with the limited training they have.”

At the conclusion of the burglary scenario, members of the Roseville police team said they thought the layout, with four concealed burglars, was quite realistic.

“We heard two voices and there was four hiding — good twist,” said Roseville Explorer Kaitlin Arens, 17. “Realistic sense of what real officers do.”

Elk Grove Explorer Lt. Mauricio Sandoval, 20, said he enjoyed his team’s first time at the Central Valley challenge.

“It’s fun. I like the bus assault, just a bunch of stuff,” he said. “We’ve been training to do our best.”

Sandoval’s teammate Explorer Sgt. Mary Salazar, 18, said it whetted her appetite to enter law enforcement.

“I want to be a police officer in the future, and they are providing pointers in what I want to do,” she said. “It’s a learning experience.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
Comments
(4)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
tomgreen123
|
July 24, 2012
-1 point for the poor trigger discipline of the "cop of tomorrow" in the 8th picture detaining the suspect with the blue rifle. Someone needs to go back over the 4 rules of gun safety.
dbcoop43
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December 23, 2012
From that photo I can't tell of the finger is indexed on the trigger or not so I think it is unfair to give a -1.
princesaportuguese
|
July 21, 2012
I hope they're getting classes on the constitution too
tomgreen123
|
July 24, 2012
1


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