The 68th Precinct’s popular Explorer program got a boost on Sunday, December 7, as the teens in the group hosted a Christmas fair to raise funds to augment its activities.
The theme, this year, was “Santa Believes in the NYPD,” according to P.O. Susan Porcello, who is the group’s advisor.
According to Porcello, the organization teaches individuals, ages 14-20, what it takes to be in law enforcement. They learn how precincts are run and prepare for the cadet program, which can eventually lead to a job with the NYPD.
“It’s very fun and a good experience,” noted Explorer member, Matthew Sanchez.
Adriana Ortiz, another member of the Explorer program, said, “We learn about what happens in a precinct and I really like being involved.” Her mom baked some of the goodies that were being sold at the Christmas fair. In addition, there were handmade crafts being sold that were made by the families.
The fundraising occurs year round, with candy sales and car washes, among other activities, with the money raised used for “gear and trips,” said Porcello.
Beyond getting a taste of law enforcement, the Explorers also enjoy healthy competition against other teams of Explorers, and are judged and scored on everything they are taught.
Porcello said, “They learn how to clear a room, gun safety, how to fill out accident reports, and are involved with community service.” They earn trophies and ribbons based on their scores. For 100 hours of service, they get a medal.