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News and Events

Police partnership provides work experience for FHS students
Posted 02/26/2020 02:00PM

The Fridley Police Explorers program introduces students to the field of law enforcement

Through a partnership with the City of Fridley, several Fridley High School (FHS) students are receiving a hands-on education while exploring and learning more about a service field that could potentially shape their future careers. The Police Explorers program, run by the Fridley Police Department, introduces students and young adults to the field of law enforcement. Explorers are taught a variety of skills and methods through training with active police officers. The program instills core values including honor, duty, sacrifice and valor, and teaches principles of morality and leadership. Many students who participate in the program are interested in becoming law enforcement officers, Emergency Medical Technicians or other service-related professionals.

For FHS junior Kimberly Escobar Cabanzo, her experience in the Police Explorers program has been second-to-none. Now in her third year as an Explorer, Cabanzo said she greatly values the program and opportunity to receive hands-on training that directly affects her future career. She plans to first attend St. Cloud University and earn her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, then apply to become a reserve officer.

“Being a Police Explorer is amazing,” said Cabanzo. “Everything is hands-on and you really bond with the police officers. We have the opportunity to go on ride-alongs, and learn about their procedures, policies, and what officers go through on a daily basis.”

According to Cabanzo, the program has helped her become a better person. “My advisors have really pushed me to become a leader and become better all around, both socially and academically. They have been a really big influence on my life and I appreciate all that they do.”

Through the program, Police Explorers learn hands-on skills including: hostage rescue negotiations, bomb scene search, burglary response, domestic crisis, crime prevention, search and arrest, DWI investigation, and more. Members train together every other Sunday, and prepare for regional and statewide competitions to showcase their skills in a variety of scenarios.

FHS senior Nicholas Abbott said he has also been positively influenced by the Police Explorers program. With a plan to become a SWAT team member, Abbott has learned more through the program than he expected.

“Being in Police Explorers is much more than being in the law enforcement industry,” Abbott said. “It’s about helping people and forming that deep connection with the duty of being an officer. When I wear the Explorer uniform, I enrich myself by learning about leadership, integrity, and respect.”

According to Officer Shawn Murphy who currently oversees the program, Police Explorers shaped his career path while he was a student at Fridley High School. “I was once a Police Explorer, and I understand how powerful of an impact it can have on young adults who are at a pivotal point in their lives,” Murphy said. “I thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to mentor the Explorers, and assist them in whatever career or educational goals they have.”

Upcoming fundraiser for Police Explorers program

The Fridley Police Department is hosting its 4th annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser on Sunday, March 1, 2020 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. at the Fridley Community Center, 6085 7th Street NE, Fridley. Tickets are available for pre-sale ($10) or at the door ($15). Proceeds raised at the event will help fund uniforms, equipment and competition fees for the Police Explorer program. Fridley teachers and staff may purchase tickets from current FHS Police Explorers, and community members may contact Officer Murphy (phone: 763-238-7805) or Officer Wallat (phone: 763-238-7785).


Interested in applying for the Police Explorers program?

FHS students who are interested in joining the program can complete an interest form through the Police Explorers page on the Fridley Police Department website: click here. Students can also contact Officer Shawn Murphy directly by phone: 763-238-7805 or email: shawn.murphy@fridleymn.gov. Program recruitment occurs in May and June, and new Explorers begin in September.

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