Tuesday July 17, 2012

LENOX -- The Police Department is seeking a few youths interested in a law-enforcement career to join the Lenox Police Explorer program.

According to Officer John Willey, who coordinates the effort, the program teaches traffic safety, security, community policing and uniform appearance. It is designed for 13- to 15-year-olds from Lenox, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Lee, Richmond and Pittsfield.

Participants accompany officers on sec'urity details at craft fairs in town, as well as Ventfort Hall and the Josh Billings Runaground. The Explorers also take part in "ride-alongs" with officers.

The program, which has nine participants currently, involves about 200 hours of participation during the summer and on weekends during the school year. Willey said there is space for 10 to 15 additional members.

Those interested can sample the program for 10 to 15 hours and then determine if they want to continue, Willey said.

The program is coordinated by a high school junior and two sophomores who work with him in a "peer-run program," the officer said.

Willey said physical fitness and "showing up on time" are emphasized. "It's the whole outlook on what this lifestyle entails," Willey said.

For anyone seeking information on joining the program, Willey requests an email to lenoxexplorers679@gmail.com, providing name, age, address, phone number and a brief paragraph explaining the applicant's interest in the Police Explorer program.