March 6, 2017 Peter Tonon


Original article submitted by

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has been making a major effort toward community policing by recruiting new officers who reflect the neighborhoods they serve.

These young minds not only have first-hand experience in policing, they have also lived as members of the very communities they serve.

For law enforcement, building and strengthening bonds within communities is crucial, and it starts with officers who can relate and connect with local citizens. This means diligent recruitment is imperative for the next generation of officers. So how does the LVMPD do it?

Enter, the Exploring program.

Law enforcement Exploring facilitates community policing efforts in a way that helps everyone involved. When local law enforcement agencies invite young people to participate in civil service and learn alongside professionals, we see big-time benefits like:

  • Law enforcement agencies are able to build a direct pipeline for recruiting new officers who understand community needs on a personal level—and they come with experience, to boot!
  • Youth get to explore career opportunities in an impactful field, build professional skills, and gain experience, all while experiencing positive interactions with law enforcement officers.

Explorers in the LVMPD’s Exploring program learn the ins and outs of the department, where they can choose a focus in commissioned policing, dispatch, or even crime scene investigation (CSI).

“We teach them about police work and law enforcement, but at the same time, they get the understanding of what we’re like—that we’re human beings—and they take that back to their schools [and] back to their part of the community,” said Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

He’s even got some words of advice for other law enforcement agencies across the country. Watch the video below to find out what Assistant Sheriff Roberts says he would do in a brand-new police department, then head to Exploring’s law enforcement page to see how you can get involved!