Giving opportunities for the neighborhood’s young people to learn leadership skills, while providing them with positive role models and building bridges between cops and community, the 68th Precinct Law Enforcement Explorers program has attracted to it a group of students who are trying to make a difference in Bay Ridge.
The program is a mainstay of the precinct, and its members have the opportunity to learn about careers in law enforcement, learn important skills, and build camaraderie by going on trips, dances and more.
At a fundraising event held on Tues., Feb.5 at 68th Precinct, 333 65th Street, the members of Post 2268 discussed the significance of the program in their lives.
“I believe it’s very beneficial for me being because I want to be a cop when I’m older, so this whole Explorers program is just a bonding process for people who want to be police officers in the future. It’s just like a family to me,” said Jamarie Silverio, who attends the High School of Telecommunications Art and Technology. “People come together from different boroughs and do things for the community and I think it’s amazing.”
“I really feel very fantastic about it. I do want to become a cop and I do want to be in the military, so this is just a start for my future and I feel it’s beneficial for other people in the community as well who want to pursue a career in law enforcement,” said 18-year-old Brianna Ramos.
The teens also see the program as a way to decrease local crime.
“I believe this program can have an impact on future crime especially with young adults,” remarked Derek Cadena. “I feel that it shows them the right way things should be done in the community.”
“We set up this event to make sure there’s appreciation towards the community and especially law enforcement . The meaning of this program is to allow people to understand that crime isn’t the way to go,” added Adam Yafoz. “There’s always a better way.”
As for the fundraiser, called “For the Love of the Law,” it was deemed a success by the students who sold sweet treats, such as cookies, specialty molded chocolate shields, handcuffs and radios, homemade candies and more.
“It’s spreading the love and advertising the program so we can get more kids involved, make it more open, bring more young kids like us into the program and show them a better path,” said Cadena.
Money raised at the Valentine’s Day sale will aid members of the post in attending a citywide event, the Explorer Dinner Dance, where they will be able to interact with other Explorers.