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Richmond County Sheriff's Office program gives youths hands-on policing experience

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:56 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:53 PM
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A new program at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office will give local youths a real world, hands-on policing experience.

The Police Exploring program, which is part of the Boy Scouts of America, takes youths ages 16 to 20 with no criminal record and a good standing in school and introduces them to life in law enforcement.

“The information they’re going to be getting is a mild version of what an officer learns on the road,” said Sgt. Mike Gilliland.

The program is perfect for anyone interested in a future law enforcement career, he said. Other agencies have used the program as a recruitment tool.

It won’t just be sitting around looking at a textbook, either. Explorers will get to experience some of the excitement of being an officer by going on ridealongs and learning about arrests, how to lift fingerprints, crime scene investigation, pistol shooting and bicycle policing.

After basic training, the explorers will have the opportunity to travel and compete in areas like felon vehicle pull-overs. A competition recently took place in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The sheriff’s office is required to have seven students enrolled to start the program. Gilliland said Monday it’s “close” and he’s still seeking more future explorers.

Applications are available at the sheriff’s office at 400 Walton Way. Applicants will be required to undergo a background check.

Anyone seeking additional information on the program can contact Gilliland at (706) 821-1467 or

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foxsilong 07/30/14 - 09:04 am
I'd love to learn about the program

Too bad I'm two years too old :(
Will pass on the message to friends tho!

TheVolunteer 07/30/14 - 09:19 am
You could always sign up for

You could always sign up for the Citizen's Police Academy, that'll also give you a taste of it.

GiantsAllDay 07/30/14 - 11:51 am
Rolf from the Sound of Music

Rolf from the Sound of Music got his start from a similar program. He was just the same age as these kids:

OIC 07/30/14 - 11:16 pm
Wasted Resources

The Sheriff's Office needs to focus on crime. Several deputies are utilized for these citizen programs. Those deputies should be on the street working to make the streets safer and not training non-certified citizens to compete in competitions. The Richmond County Board of Education Police Department should handle the DARE program.

rebellious 07/31/14 - 12:27 am
Wait for it

Pay raise propaganda above, Pay raise request to follow. Send in the Street Sweepers we need on our dirt roads out here in South Augusta.

Shake My Head.

Stop the Madness!!!!

jimmymac 07/31/14 - 10:01 am

I see nothing negative about this type of program at all. Yes it costs money but it just might keep a kid from going the wrong direction. It also might give them a desire to be a LEO and good ones will always be needed for the ones that didn't qualify for the program.

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