November 18, 2016 Dillon Green

Explorers Project – 2016 IACP Conference

The IACP Human and Civil Rights Committee and the National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee Sponsor the Explorers Project at the 2016 IACP Conference


This year’s annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference was held in San Diego, California during the period of 15-19 October and twenty-five Law Enforcement Explorers from Posts in the San Diego area, participated in a special program called the Explorers Project that was conducted on Sunday, 16 October. Participants included Law Enforcement Explorers representing the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Chula Vista Police Department, National City Police Department, Gardena Police Department, and U.S. Border Patrol (CBP).

The Explorers Project, co-sponsored by the IACP Human and Civil Rights Committee and the National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee, along with support from the National Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni Association, provides a unique opportunity for Explorers to “shadow” a chief, sheriff, or agency director for half a day during the conference.   Each Explorer is assigned to an individual chief, sheriff, or agency director who serves as a mentor to that Explorer for the duration of the program. It is during this time the Explorer is encouraged to engage his/her mentor in conversations about career development, education, and leadership. The mentor is encouraged to have the Explorer accompany him/her to any scheduled training sessions in the morning and to visit the Exhibit Hall.   Two national committee members served as mentors for this year’s Explorers Project: San Gabriel (CA) Chief of Police David Lawton and Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit Chief Kathy Perez-Grines. Several other national committee members supported the Explorers Project in other ways and included Vice Chair for National Events Mike Prout, Vice Chair for Liaison and Development Kent Jefferies, Robert Tompkins, and Michael Knight.

The Explorer Project commenced with a kick-off meeting where the objectives of the program were reviewed for the participants by FBI Headquarters Supervisory Special Agent Rhonda Glover, a member of the IACP Human and Civil Rights Committee, and National Youth Representative for Law Enforcement Exploring Tyler Schutt, who both challenged Explorers to take full advantage of their time with their mentors. U.S. Marshals Service Assistant Director (and National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee Vice Chair for National Events) Mike Prout also addressed the mentors and participants at the kick-off meeting. The program concluded with a luncheon sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni Association at which U.S. CBP Commissioner and Chair of the National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee Gil Kerlikowske spoke and then introduced U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan who presented a motivational keynote address which included talking about law enforcement officers who as individuals “do good” for a living, citing as an example of the Dallas police officers who last July risked their lives to provide cover for a protestor and her children who were in danger from gunfire. Arlington (TX) Chief of Police and IACP Human Civil Rights Committee Chair Will Johnson, who served mentor for the second year, also shared some inspirational thoughts with the group.

Special thanks to FBI Supervisory Special Agent Rhonda Glover and IACP Human and Civil Rights Committee staff liaison Jennifer Rolfe, for their contributions in organizing an outstanding experience for the Explorers and mentors that participated in this year’s Explorers Project. And thanks to all the mentors who supported the Explorers Project this year. Lastly, thanks to the National Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni Association (NLEEAA) for hosting the luncheon and providing other forms of support for the Explorers Project. The NLEEAA is a 501c3, non-profit, non-partisan educational entity that was established for promoting and enhancing Law Enforcement Exploring; its Board and Officers are comprised of former Law Enforcement Explorers, Advisors and friends of Law Enforcement Exploring. Plans are already underway for the Explorers Project that will be conducted at the 2017 IACP Conference in Philadelphia.