"It’s a great program for kids interested in law enforcement,” Officer Nelson Carreiro says of the Warwick Police Explorers Program.
The program is scheduled to meet every Monday evening from 6:30 to 9 p.m. beginning Oct. 15 to introduce young Rhode Island men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 to the field of law enforcement through classroom lectures, as well as hands-on and scenario-based training.
“As an example, we could give a lecture on domestic violence and then the following Monday, we’ll start doing some role-playing with advisors who are police officers,” said Carreiro, the program’s director. “We’ll give them a situation where the kids will have to respond.”
For those interested, there is an open house for the program Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. at the Warwick Police Station Community Room.
In addition to learning about law enforcement, the program focuses on developing five key areas, including character building, career development, life skills, social development, and leadership.
“It’s informative, educational and fun,” he said. “It gets kids involved. We want to get them on the right path, make [the] right decisions and become respectful young men and women who are being responsible.”
To do that, Carreiro said they plan to instruct the young men and women on discipline through character building and leadership. They will work on the importance of respect, loyalty and honesty.
In terms of career development, he said the program would begin with a question and answer segment, which will help them with the interview process when applying for jobs in the future. Public speaking is also on the agenda.
Carreiro said social development is a significant topic. In fact, participants will be responsible for volunteering in Warwick during the program and assist with parking and directing traffic at events within the city and complete child identification kits for events at local businesses, just to name a few examples.
“These kids will be doing volunteer services throughout the community,” he said. “They will be forced to engage in conversation and that will build their social development.”
Recently, the department partnered with Patricia St. Amant of Mayor Scott Avedisian’s Substance Abuse Task Force. It aims to keep kids off drugs, assist them in making better decisions, provide healthy alternatives and lessen the opportunity for risky behavior.
“Her mission is our mission,” Carreiro said. “We don’t want kids involved in risky behavior. We want them to be of good moral character.”
Carreiro said the department also accepts participants from Cranston and East Greenwich, as those municipalities don’t have the program.
The program will begin Oct. 15 and meet once a week at various venues, including the Warwick Police Department, the Boys & Girls Club, as well as the New England Institute of Technology, through June. The program ends with a graduation ceremony. Community service hours will typically take place on weekends.
To join, participants must be Rhode Island residents between the ages of 14 to 20, and of good moral character. Individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present. There will be background checks and an interview process. The signup fee is $20.
The Warwick Police Explorers Program is a non-profit and worksite-based program. It has been in place since 1975 and is a component of Learning for Life and is chartered under the Boy Scouts of America.
For more information, contact Officer Carreiro at 468-4311 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.