Lake County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Program Gives Teens a Look Into Law Enforcement

Teens are getting a hands-on experience about what it takes to be in law enforcement.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has a Trooper Explorer Program for teens interested in the line of work.

“Kids are going to pick a path. They’re going to take a good path, or they’re going to pick a bad path,” said Lake County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Mark Pietras. “Our nation is made up about people obeying the laws, and there’s no better way than to see the law enforcers and that side of the coin.”

They meet twice a month for a hands-on workshop led by someone in the field.

“Two weeks ago, they got to see how tasers work,” said Undersheriff Pietras. “We had a taser instructor come in. And then one of the mothers of the children here volunteered to get tased.”

Wednesday night’s workshop involved forensics and fingerprinting.

“We’re just going to go through how fingerprinting came into play, how it’s used. It’s still used to obtain evidence. The kids are going to fingerprint, and then we’re going to do how to lift fingerprints off of different items,” said Undersheriff Pietras.

For many explorers, going into law enforcement has been something they’ve always wanted to do.

“I want to become a police officer. I like to see people happy and safe,” said one explorer, Rylie Fitzgerald.

“The uniforms, the cars and stuff just like being in the driving and doing that kind of stuff, arresting people,” said another explorer, Nate Ooms.

“It’s encouraging that there are still people that have in their minds that they would like to do the right thing and enforce laws, catch the bad person put the bad person in jail,” said Undersheriff Pietras.