The Union Recorder

February 17, 2014

Explorers place high at Winterfest nationals

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville Police Department’s Explorer Program stood above most at the 40th Winterfest competition held last weekend.

MPD’s Post No. 139 traveled to Gatlinburg, Tenn. for the national event pitting 64 Explorer programs from 21 states against each other in 18 possible events.

MPD Explorer coordinator Sgt. Daniel Parker said the gathering of more than 3,000 is the largest competition each year.

Local Explorers Sgt. Trey Miller, Norris Moss Jr., Fashon Hurt and Dalton Scaggs grabbed a third place trophy in the Vehicle Search Warrant event.

Parker was pleasantly surprised considering MPD’s team didn’t place a lot of focus in one of the tougher Winterfest competitions.

“I didn’t even expect that one,” Parker said. “The search warrant isn’t an easy task. I was impressed. This was the third year we have placed at a national level.”

Competitors were graded in proper handling of the warrant, evidence collection, search technique, proper chain of custody, and written documentation pertaining to the execution of the warrant. Teams advise what suspects can be charged with and why the charge applies.

The Explorers had a 30-minute time limit to get the information together and execute the appropriate search through a prop conversion van. 

The MPD’s Post 139 also competed in Felony Traffic Stops, Unknown Trouble that turned out to be a bar fight dispatch and High-Risk Warrant Service. 

Though the result placements aren’t in yet, Parker sees the post placing in the top-20 in all events. 

“They’ve worked hard to get where they are at,” the program supervisor said.

The Milledgeville Police Department sponsors an Explorer Program, which is part of Learning for Life career education for young adults, both male and female, ages 14 through 20 who have an interest in the law enforcement profession.

The Explorers are taught proper procedures in all aspects of law enforcement. They also attend conferences and competitions throughout the southeast region and provide security for different functions throughout the community.

Graduates of the Explorer Program are a step ahead of the game when beginning official police training and examinations.

“Our post has produced two police officers both on patrol,” Parker said. “They breeze right through it.”

The Explorer Post has full department backing from Police Chief Dray Swicord, Maj. John Davis, Lt. Wanda Holsey and officer David McNeely.

Parker credited local business support that made the $3,000 Winterfest trip possible.

“We’ve got a ton of local businesses that support everything that we do,” he said. “There is no way we would have been able to make it without them.”

For more information on how to get involved with the Explorer Program call Sgt. Parker at 478-414-4000, or visit www.milledgevillepd.com/explorers.

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