Burl plans to add more community service to the program’s curriculum, he said.
In preparation for a national conference and competition in Indiana in July, members of Post 2100 having been meeting twice a week at the Clinton County Office of Emergency Services in Plattsburgh for intensive training.
“This is a huge milestone,” Burl said. “Advisers and law-enforcement specialists from all over the country are (at the conference), and the students enter the competition, the specialists watch them, judge them.”
Clinton County Sheriff’s Department deputies spoke to students at a recent meeting as part of their preparation.
Explorers members have been raising money to cover travel expenses and other costs, Burl said.
‘LEARN A LOT’
Mike Dupre, 17, a junior at Peru Central School, joined the program about a year ago, after encouragement from friends, many of whom are enrolled.
“It’s an amazing time, and there’s amazing people doing it,” he said of the program.
Dupre plans to join the U.S. Coast Guard after he graduates from high school.
The Explorers were able to take a ride in a Department of Homeland Security helicopter, and the students took a trip to the border to learn about procedures for employees there, he said.
“They showed us the X-ray machines and what people need to go through to get through the border,” Dupre said.
“We would go right up to the lane when they were processing cars,” said Derek Scholl, 20, who applied for a job with Customs and Border Protection and is waiting to hear back.
“We also went over to secondary (search) and watched them search a car.”
They also discussed how arrests are made at the border and how agents approach high-risk traffic stops, Scholl said.
Tim Bedard, 15, a sophomore at Northeastern Clinton Central School, joined the program in November 2013.