Jun. 6—METHUEN — The members of Methuen's Police Explorer Post took third place overall in the 18th annual Massachusetts Law Enforcement Explorers Competition as they faced off against Explorer Posts from five other communities.
"A third place finish was rewarding and it showed by the excitement of our youth members in finding out they placed in this year's competition," said Police Chief Scott McNamara. "There was an incredibly devoted commitment by our [Explorers] to take time out of their busy scholastic and work schedules to make sure they were prepared for the demanding competition."
He said officers Jeffrey Torrisi, Nicholas Fabrizio and Walter Torres spent several months helping the Explorers train for the May 21 competition, which was held in Winthrop.
In addition to Methuen, the competition included participants from Newton, North Andover, Westwood, Winchester and Winthrop.
McNamara said there were 12 group events including Accident Investigation, Family Disturbance, Felony Traffic Stop and First Aid Officer Down. There were also four individual events consisting of Judgmental Driving, Mountain Biking, Physical Agility and Firearms.
Explorer Sgt. Jack Earnshaw had the most successful outing for Methuen. He received first place in First Aid Officer Down, first place in Judgmental Driving, second place in OUI/Standard Field Sobriety Testing and third place in Career Development. Explorer Officer Kevin Norton, also of Methuen, took home third place awards in Burglary in Progress, Family Disturbance and Traffic Stops.
McNamara said the competition was judged by both state and local police, all of whom have served for several years in law enforcement.
In addition, he said Methuen's Police Explorer Post was founded on July 12, 1973, making it one of the oldest in Massachusetts.
He said the program functions as a non-scouting subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America and is open to individuals who have completed the eighth grade and are between the ages of 14 and 21.
"The Methuen Police Explorers program is for young adults that want an experience and training of what it takes to be a police officer," said McNamara. "Our department is comprised of many police officers who began their careers through exploring."
He said some of those individuals include Capt. Randy Haggar, Sgt. Derek Licata as well as Officers Matthew Tarness, Jeffrey Torrisi, Brian Hellman, Detectives William Kannan, Stephen Dileo, Nicholas Dore, Kevin Abraham and Joseph Alaimo.
Anyone interested in joining the Explorers is urged to call 978-983-8698 for additional information.
McNamara also said the Explorers are much different than the Cadet Programs.
He said cadets are between the ages of 19 and 25 and the programs consist of "comprehensive on-the-job training."
"The cadet programs are educational and hands-on training which offer a paid, benefitted, full-time civilian position," he said. "Once a cadet applies and takes a civil service test, the department would be able to immediately accept the cadet into a sworn officer position."