October 14, 2015 Dillon Green



The annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference brings together approximately 18,000 chiefs, sheriffs, directors of agencies and command staff personnel from law enforcement agencies in the United States and throughout the world. The conference program includes seminars, training, discussions, workshops, and an Exhibit Hall filled with vendor representatives providing information and demonstrations on every conceivable product and service needed by law enforcement agencies as well as organization representatives from various law enforcement agencies and law enforcement affiliated private and nonprofit groups. Law Enforcement Exploring is one of many organizations that had a booth in the Exhibit Hall.

This year’s conference was held in Chicago, Illinois during the period of 23-28 October and twenty Law Enforcement Explorers, representing Posts from Chicago and the surrounding area, participated in a special program called the Explorers Project that was conducted on Sunday, 25 October. The Explorers Project, co-sponsored by the IACP Civil Rights Committee and the National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee, 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. Four national committee members served as mentors for the Explorers Project: Ocean County (NJ) Sheriff Mike Mastronardy, San Gabriel (CA) Chief of Police David Lawton, Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit Chief Kathy Perez-Grines, and new committee member Gardena (CA) Chief of Police Ed Medrano.

The Explorer Project commenced with a kick-off meeting where the objectives of the program were reviewed for the participants. National Youth Representative Cynthia Garcia addressed the Explorers participating in the program and challenged them to take full advantage of the time spent with their mentor. The program concluded with a luncheon sponsored by the Marcus Foundation at which U.S. CBP Commissioner and Chair of the National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee Gil Kerlikowske served as the keynote speaker. Arlington (TX) Chief of Police and IACP Civil Rights Committee Chair Will Johnson, as well as National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives President Gregory Thomas also spoke to the group.

Special thanks to FBI Section Chief Rhonda Glover and U.S. Marshal Noel March of the IACP Civil Rights Committee, along with IACP 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. Plans are already underway for the Explorers Project at the 2016 IACP Conference in San Diego.

Photos: First photo depicts Lansing (IL) Police Department Post 950 Explorer Tyler Schutt with his mentor, Arlington (TX) Chief of Police and IACP Civil Rights Committee Chair Will Johnson. Second photo depicts National Youth Representative Cynthia Garcia addressing Explorers Project participants.

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