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Explorer Program

The Explorer Program

Exploring is an internationally recognized program that exposes young people to a variety of careers. Explorers, usually between the ages of 14 and 21, have an opportunity to learn about law enforcement, government, journalism, the medical fields and much more. Instructors are experts in their respective fields and most volunteer their time. Although the focus may vary from one unit to the next, the goal remains the same. The Explorer program gives young participants hands-on training in a controlled environment. Instructors provide training while emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility, leadership and dedication to the community. Many Explorers receive college scholarships, obtain internships and nationally recognized training. The Explorer program is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America.

Spurgeon III Award

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office was nominated and awarded the prestigious William H. Spurgeon III Award for the year 2006. The William H. Spurgeon III Award is the highest recognition for individuals and organizations contributing significant leadership to the Explorer program. Since 1999, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office has proudly sponsored a Law Enforcement Explorer post that has been noted as one of the finest programs to assist young people showing an interest in law enforcement.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff Explorer Unit actively meets to provide realistic, yet controlled basic law enforcement training to young men and women between the ages of 14 and 21. Additionally, the Explorer Unit partakes in numerous opportunities to assist with community events. Our goal for the future is to continue to provide a fun, yet educational outreach program that can introduce the career field of criminal justice to interested young persons.

Competitions are held around the country and the explorers get to show what they've learned. The MCSO Explorer Unit has won numerous awards in local, state and national competitions. These competitions also give explorers an opportunity to meet other young people interested in law enforcement.

2018 Polar Bear plungeProgram Details

Currently, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Explorer Unit meets twice a month. At meetings, an explorer advisor teaches basic law enforcement principles, such as discussions about the rules of search and seizure. Once students master the concept in the classroom, they perform hands-on training. Explorers learn how to make traffic stops, process crime scene evidence and basic law enforcement tactics.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Deputies are actively involved in the community. As a result, Explorers will also participate in community events. Some of our Explorers participate in fireworks patrols, "Scouting at the Zoo" and "Trick or Treat" safety patrols. This introduces Explorers to the community partnership concept while highlighting the value of good community relations.

The MCSO Explorer Unit was established in 1999 and dozens of students successfully completed our program. In fact, many participants are now respected law enforcement officers. To join, an applicant must:

  • Be between 14 and 21 years of age
  • Be in high school or a high school graduate
  • Complete a background check
  • Have an interest in law enforcement

For more information about the MCSO Explorer program, contact Captain Paul Thompson.

Explorer Post Feature Photos

Explorer Robby Ellifson recruiting Explorer standing with  Military PersonnelExplorers on fire truckMemorial ceremonySpecial Olympics Award Ceremony

Milwaukee County Sheriff Badge


821 W. State St., Room 107
Milwaukee, WI 53233

(414) 278-4766

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