Explorer Program
LAPD's Juvenile Division


Explorer Program
LAPD's Juvenile Division - (213) 486-0500


The Law Enforcement Explorer Program was established in 1962. The purpose of the Explorer Program is to provide special training for young people interested in and preparing for a career in law enforcement.

Program Goals

The Department's Explorer Program has three principal goals:

Recruit and prepare young men and women for future careers in law enforcement by offering a positive relationship between police and the youth of our community;
Provide a forum in which young people can provide non-hazardous community services, thereby relieving police officers for other assignments; and,
Provide solid training toward the development of better citizens and better physical fitness for all youth that participate in the program.

Program Criteria

The Explorer Program has a stringent selection process and only accepts the most qualified applicants. The criteria to become an explorer is as follows:

Be at least 14 years of age and in the 9th grade, or 15 through 20 years of age (regardless of grade);
Pass a background investigation;
Maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average through the 12th grade;
Have no serious criminal record;
Maintain good moral character;
Be free of any physical deficiencies that would jeopardize the explorer, or others in the program;
Obtain a medical examination (to qualify for medical insurance);
Pass an oral interview;
Write an autobiography;
Demonstrate a willingness to serve and participate in explorer activities; and,
Complete and graduate from the Explorer Academy.

Program Outreach

The Law Enforcement Explorer Program is active in all 18 geographic Areas. Explorer Program participants are recruited from all segments of the community. Each geographic Area's Community Relations Office (CRO) is responsible for their Area's Explorer Program. Area CRO personnel continuously recruit explorer participants through their various recruitment events and community meetings. Department personnel also work in conjunction with local schools in their recruitment efforts. The Department currently has 491 active explorers citywide.

The following is a breakdown of active explorers per geographic bureau:

Operations-Valley Bureau 131 explorers
Operations-Central Bureau 125 explorers
Operations-South Bureau 115 explorers
Operations-West Bureau 120 explorers
491 explorers

Learning for Life Expenditures

Each geographic Area explorer post registers their explorer recruits with Learning for Life prior to the recruit participating in the program. The annual cost for registration and accidental insurance coverage is $7.60 per explorer. The accident insurance coverage is renewed when the explorer post re-charters with Learning for Life.

Academy Expenditures

The cost to finance an explorer recruit through the explorer academy is $697.47 per recruit. The Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA)/Schiff-Cardenas Grant has covered the costs for the last five explorer academy classes.

Uniforms & Accessories $ 561.64
Academic Supplies $ ....8.69
Pictures $ ..21.72
Food $ 105.42
$ 697.47

The following expenses are in addition to the explorer academy expenditures:

Refreshments and food for explorers who participate in crime prevention and community service events;
Expenses for equipment that is necessary to participate in community service, crime prevention events, and national and local competitions;
Expenses for educational and competition explorer trips that focus on training and leadership; and,
Expense for outfitting the Explorer Color Guard for special events.

Program Funding

Grant Funding

The JJCPN/Schiff-Cardenas Grant has allocated $120,000 in funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004/05, to finance the cost of conducting two explorer academy classes, including all operational and training expenditures. The Los Angeles County Probation Department approves and oversees the use of all JJCPN/Schiff-Cardenas Grant funds within Los Angeles County.

Prior to the JJCPN/Schiff-Cardenas Grant, the Department's explorer posts relied on fundraisers and private donations to finance their operating costs. The funds raised were used to pay for the expenses of having an explorer recruit participate in the explorer academy and to cover post- academy costs.

Private Funding

The Robinson Foundation for the Hearing Disorders, Inc., in association with the Ray Charles Foundation, donated $15,000 for FY 2004/05, to help support the Explorer Program at Southwest, Newton and 77th Street Areas. The sum of $5,000 was allocated to each of the three geographic Area explorer posts.