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Belmont County’s Sheriff Office Initiates A Law Enforcement Exploring Program

Date: 09/25/2020
Contact: Sheriff David M. Lucas
Phone: 740/695-7933

Belmont County Sheriff David M. Lucas announced the implementation of a Law Enforcement Exploring Program in collaboration with the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”). The Sheriff’s Office will hold an Open House and Recruiting Event on October 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office substation located on the back side of the Ohio Valley Mall. Appropriate health precautions and social distancing will be in place. Law Enforcement Exploring Programs (“Explorers”) are a nationally recognized, hands-on program open to Belmont County young men and women who have completed the eighth grade and are at least 14 years old and under the age of 21 years, and have an interest in law enforcement or the criminal justice system. The program is designed to promote personal growth, character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship, patriotism, and interpersonal communication skills. These attributes are developed through training, practical experiences, mentoring, competition, and other activities.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Belmont County youth who meet the criteria and are admitted to the Explorer program to gain in-depth training, mentoring and hands-on experience in law enforcement and the criminal justice system while providing a meaningful service to this Office and Belmont County”, stated Sheriff Lucas. “The Explorer Program has been a goal of mine for quite some time and it is exciting to see it come to fruition”, according to Lucas. The Open House and Recruiting Event on October 6 will give interested youth and their parents an opportunity to learn more about what the Explorer Program has to offer. The program has submitted the documentation to become a recognized Post and has been assigned the Post number of 0007. A command structure for the program and the Post Committee has been put in place and includes Sheriff Lucas, Chief Deputy James Zusack, Lt. Glenn Moore, Assistant Jail Administrator Stanley Galownia, and Outreach Coordinators Sherri VanTassel and Taylore Frasnelly. Lucas noted that other Belmont County Sheriff’s Office (“BCSO”) staff will be assigned as needed for specific duties such as training or experiential learning.

Belmont County young men and women who are within the age range noted are invited to attend the Open House and Recruiting Event on October 6 from 5 – 8 p.m. to learn more about the program and training academy, and to meet representatives of various Divisions of BCSO. Interested youth can also go to the BSCO website, download and print an Explorer Application. Once completed, the application needs to be submitted to BCSO for review. Chosen applicants will be interviewed either via telephone during the need for COVID 19 precautions or in person as changes in restrictions permit. Applicants, in addition to the age restrictions, must also maintain a “C” average in school or complete at least 6 college credits per semester, and commit at least eight (8) hours of service to BCSO per month. Applicants will also undergo a background check. BCSO’s Explorer Academy is 7 (seven) weeks, one day a week for four (4) hours. Monthly meetings will also be held.

Sheriff Lucas notes that this has been a team effort, “Chief Zusack and Lt. Moore put the training outline together and aligned it with topics from the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (“OPOTA”); the leadership of the BSA’s Ohio River Valley Council has been generous with their time and expertise to ensure the our office has the appropriate training, background checks and structure to support the Explorer Program; and BCSO’s Outreach Coordinators Sherri VanTassel and Taylore Frasnelly have pulled the materials together to support a thriving and successful Explorer Post. This is an exciting opportunity for Belmont County youth interested in careers in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.”

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