101 Explorers Attend National Conference In Atlanta
By Miriam Rosenberg
Members of the 101 Precinct’s Explorers traveled to Atlanta last month to attend the Fourth Biennial Law Enforcement Exploring Conference held at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During the July 19 to July 24 conference the six representatives from the 101 joined 5,000 other Explorers, from throughout the country, in taking part in competitions and training seminars on different aspects of law enforcement.
Officer Dennis Lewis, of the precinct’s Youth Division, said that the group placed in the top 10 percentile of the Explorer group competitions that were held at the conference.
Luzdeluna Naupari and Jordon Paredes, ages 15 and 16 respectively, talked about some of their experiences while in Atlanta.
Paredes was able to attend two seminars – Self-Defense Techniques and Effective Communications.
“I learned that it’s how you say something, not what you say,” said Paredes, about the communication seminar. “It’s your voice, tone, manner and how you present yourself in front of people.”
Naupari spoke about some of the things that she learned while at the conference.
“I learned to have confidence in myself and have discipline, meet new friends and get along with people,” she said.
Both Explorers agreed that they learned the importance of being on time and teamwork.
The competitions, sponsored by some of the nation’s top law enforcement organizations, put teams in different scenarios. The Explorers were briefed on the subject and experts from each field played against the team in the scene. These same experts then evaluated the Explorer team.
“The most important thing was our advisors,” explained Paredes. “Jackie (Officer Jaclyn Napolitano) and Officer Lewis were there backing us up no matter what. Even though Officer Lewis wasn’t there physically, he was there through spirit and emotionally. Jackie was there, and she was helping us. Mentally pepping us for it.”
To prepare for the competition, the Explorers from the 101 took part in two local competitions during the past winter and spring.
During Explorer meetings, the precinct brings in specialists in different areas such as domestic violence, self-defense, hostage negotiations, first aid and even a drill sergeant to speak to the Explorers.
In the winter competition, they took first place in Burglary in Progress and second place in Hostage Negotiation. At the spring competition, the group came in first in Bomb Treat Response.
The Wave asked Naupari and Paredes what they would say to other young people about the Explorer program.
“They take you out. You have fun with them no matter what,” replied Naupari. “I didn’t like cops at all. I came into the Explorers, and I realized there’s good cops. They also show you discipline and control.”
Paredes explained “An Explorer is a youth that has interests or goals…in law enforcement. We receive training from different agencies like domestic violence. I’d tell another person being an Explorer is not just about having fun, is not just about a person that has special privileges over the people and over the public.”
“The badge doesn’t mean strength, he added. “It doesn’t mean power…the public trust is a lot on our shoulders.”
While an Explorer is not allowed to use the skills they learn in public, they are allowed to take action if a situation presents itself.”
On February 14, Paredes was in Jamaica when a woman fell in the street. She hit her head on the cement and she began bleeding from the mouth.
“My training from the NYPD came in handy,” he told The Wave. “”It took a long time for the ambulance to arrive. I was able to stabilize her.” When the ambulance arrived, he identified himself as an Explorer from the 101 precinct.
Naupari had advice for other young people.
“If you see a cop, don’t be afraid of them,” she said. “The only thing different is that they’re a cop and you’re not.”