Police explorers test skills in Central Valley competition
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jul 19, 2013 | 2555 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police explorers competition
Tracy Police Department Explorers participated in the third annual Central Valley Explorer Competition in Modesto on July 12 to 14, placing first in the competitions for a simulated domestic violence call, hostage negotiation and burglary in progress. During a bus assault scenario, explorers entered a bus and identified a gunman who was holding passengers hostage. Courtesy photo
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An 11-member team of Tracy Police Department explorers claimed first-place trophies for its handling of three true-to-life scenarios during the third annual Central Valley Explorer Competition.

According to Wesley Bancroft, the explorer adviser for Tracy Police Department, 21 teams from across the state competed from Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 14, at Johansen High School in Modesto.

Many of the explorers who participated in the event are teenagers and young adults hoping to pursue police careers.

“They are learning how police officers handle difficult situations on a daily basis,” Bancroft wrote in an email Monday, July 15.

Armed with rubber guns and other equipment, each team completed 12 different scenarios, including a high-risk traffic stop and an encounter with an active shooter.

Tracy had the top scores in the domestic-violence, hostage-negotiation and burglary-in-progress scenarios.

Participants were also judged on tug of war and close-order marching drills.

A three-year member of the Tracy team, Sgt. Yordan Coss, 19, said he relished the competition because the scenarios allowed him to practice the skills he needs to become a police officer someday.

“We learned a lot of things that will help us out when we do decide to go into law enforcement,” he said. “They’re as realistic as can be. It’s all pretty fun.”

Among his favorite parts of the weekend was responding to a mock bus assault, in which explorers wearing protective gear confronted a gunman aboard a bus.

“The bus assault was one of the funner ones,” he said. “It was definitely exciting, definitely gets your adrenaline pumping.”

He and the other Tracy explorers competed against teams from Manteca, Modesto, Novato, Elk Grove, Sonoma County and the United States Border Patrol.

“Our Tracy Police Department explorers did outstanding,” Bancroft said. “The annual explorer competition is extremely beneficial to all that participate in it. Participating explorer posts get to function as a team throughout the weekend, and the young men and women encounter real-life scenarios.”

The Tracy team consisted of Daniele Schmig, Coss, Monica Bravo, Ahide Marron, Francisco Torres, Stephanie Padilla, Travis Alexander, Kaeli Vierra, Chase Martinez, Brandon Hawking, and Trysta Rasmussen.

Tracy, Modesto, Ripon and Modesto police departments jointly played host to the three-day event.

Bancroft said the 2014 competition will be in Ripon.

The Tracy Police Department Explorer Program is open to Tracy residents 14 to 20 years old who want to gain a working knowledge of what police do in the community.

Participants must be in good physical health and have an academic C average. Explorers are required to volunteer 16 hours a month, attend monthly meetings and be available for special events.

For information on the program, call 831-6550.

  • Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com
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