Jackson police teach young people about law enforcement

JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson police teach young people the ins and outs of law enforcement as part of a program for teens who hope to one day become police officers.

“It changed my life,” Jackson Police Officer Kenneth Stone said.

Stone learned about law enforcement at a young age through an “Explorer Program” in East Tennessee. “You know how some teenagers are at the point where they can go down a good path or a bad path?” Stone said. “It helped me choose the right path.”

Stone now oversees Jackson Police Explorer Post 276. The program teaches young people, ages 14 to 20, about what it takes to become a police officer.

“We pretty much learn everything that a real police officer learns,” Alex Stone, an explorer, said.

Police said instruction covers everything from crime scene investigation to handgun safety and active shooter situations.

Alex Stone, a senior at Liberty Technology Magnet High School, joined several years ago and hopes to eventually become a police officer like his dad. “It helps you learn how to like handle situations and leadership skills and social skills,” Alex said.

Explorers cannot make arrests or go on calls, but they do wear uniforms and work city events. Stone said last year explorers logged more more than 1,500 hours of community service. “Doing traffic control, walking parking lots, directing people to the right place to go,” he said.

Jackson Police Explorer Post 276 meets Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Police Department. 276 is the badge number of fallen Jackson Police Sergeant Andy Bailey, who was killed in the line of duty.

Police said the explorer program runs totally on donations.

They have a golf tournament fundraiser coming up Sept. 19 at Bent Tree Golf Club. Lunch starts at 11 a.m. Golfers tee off at 1 p.m. You can pick up an application for the golf tournament at Bent Tree Golf Club, the Jackson Police Department or call Stone at 731-425-8173. Proceeds from the tournament go to the explorer program.

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