Youth Programs

Because we all know that our children are our future, youth education is a major focus for the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office. Current offerings range from games and downloads on our website for younger children to our Choose Not To Lose programs for school-age children and our Explorer Post 82 for youth potentially interested in a law enforcement career.

Learn more about our youth programs:

Explorer Post #82

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post is designed for young men and women interested in a career in law enforcement. The program provides the opportunity to learn about the many opportunities and the fascinating aspects of the criminal justice system. Law Enforcement Career Exploring posts typically meet on a monthly basis during the school year.

Explorers will develop leadership skills and improved self-confidence, social network development, fun and exciting “hands-on” career experiences, community service opportunities, college and career readiness preparation and team building. Our goal is to broaden your outlook and understanding of the real world of law enforcement and provide a sound foundation for those who wish to pursue a career in the exciting and rewarding area of criminal justice

The Explorer Code

As an Explorer, I believe that America’s strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people. I will therefore be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life. I will acquire the Explorer attitude that seeks the truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world.

Membership Requirements

  • To be considered for membership in the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 82, an applicant must be between the ages of 16 and 20.
  • All explorers are required to maintain at least a C average in their high school studies. Members that are in college are also encouraged to maintain a C average. Failure to maintain a C average for any one marking period may result in an explorer being placed on probation, suspended or terminated from the post if deemed appropriate by the Executive Board & the post advisors.
  • Post members will provide a copy of their report cards to the head advisor every marking period during the school year. Failure to turn in a report card every marking period may result in disciplinary action being taken against the explorer.
  • All explorers must have parental approval, which includes signatures by the explorer and his/her parents on and the post by-laws agreement form at the end of this document.
  • All explorers must be of good moral habits with no arrest or conviction records for serious or violent offenses. Explorers must attend 75% of all meetings and training prior to a competition in order to participate in related functions of the Explorer Post.
  • Explorers are to be held responsible for their own actions both in and out of uniform.
  • Explorers are expected to be law-abiding at all times and involvement in activities such as drug use, alcohol consumption, and other unlawful acts will lead to immediate dismissal from the post.
  • Explorers are NOT law enforcement officers and should not attempt to enforce laws. If an explorer should witness an unlawful act, he or she should react as a general citizen by notifying proper authorities

Recognition, Commendation Medals, and Awards

Each year, the post will hold an annual recognition and awards ceremony. During this ceremony, the following awards will be handed out as appropriate.

  • Excellent Service Medal – awarded for an act of intelligent and valuable service demonstrating special faithfulness or perseverance or highly creditable acts of service over a period of time, or for an act that demonstrates highly creditable integrity.
  • Achievement Medal – awarded for an intelligent act materially contributing to a valuable accomplishment benefiting the explorers or the public.
  • Commendation Medal – awarded for an intelligent act, swiftly performed in the performance of duty, whereby the safety of the public benefited.
  • Certificate of Recognition – an official recognition for active participation in an intelligent act that brought credit or benefit to the Vanderburgh County Police Explorers.
  • Explorer of the Year Award – selected by nominations from post members, advisors, board members, or police officers.
  • National Police Explorer Recognition Awards  criteria for these awards are determined by Boy Scouts of America. A copy of the requirements for each award will be provided to any explorer, advisor, or board member who wishes to have a copy. An awards committee will take nominations throughout the year for explorers that are considered worthy of any of the above awards. Also, the committee will evaluate each explorer’s performance to see if they meet the requirements for any of the national police explorer awards.

Ethics Statement

As representatives of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Learning for Life Program, all explorers are required to maintain the highest standards of behavior and integrity. Any explorer involved in lying, cheating, plagiarism, or any activity that may compromise the integrity of the Explorer Program will be subject to disciplinary action. This code of conduct applies not only to official post activities but also applies to the way each explorer conducts their personal lives, including family and school.

Choose Not to Lose

In the spring of 2013, the community’s newest youth outreach program, “Choose Not to Lose,” was introduced to the public, and, in conjunction, with this introduction, seven new Jeep Wranglers were unveiled for the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department. Each Jeep has been assigned to a School Resource Officer and artfully covered to reflect the high school district the vehicle has been assigned represent. The Jeeps and the artwork were donated by Bennett Motors and Audubon Chrysler Center.

“Choose Not to Lose” is a long-term commitment from community partners who came together to make it happen. The program is supported through donations and volunteers and all of the activities are free. The program stresses the importance of making good choices.

The first phase of the program is to reach out to students and let them know that there are consequences for all choices, good and bad. Many times young people feel only the bad choices receive attention. The goal is to change that belief by recognizing the positive choices being made on a daily basis and to reinforce good behavior.

All students who earn a citizenship award at their school will be eligible to participate in program activities. Students who do not earn their citizenship award will be encouraged to improve and will receive guidance to help them become successful.

The program is also designed to create friendships between students of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Evansville’s Catholic schools, and local law enforcement officers.

Age-appropriate activities are planned to “drive” the message home including coloring books for the youngest students to summer camps for the older ones. Activities will be conducted throughout the school year to keep the students involved and to reward good citizenship.

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