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BCSO Explorers adopt family for Christmas

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

As a service project, members of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office Explorer Program adopted a family for Christmas.
"They identified a family in need and decided to help them out," said Sgt. Arnold Harst, who not only serves as advisor to the Explorer Program but also as the BCSO DARE officer. Other advisors are Cpl. DJ Nowlin and Sandy Van Bibber, who is also an emergency dispatch operator.
"The post was reactivated and this is our second full year," Karst said. For the holiday, members found out about a single mother and her four children who needed some help for the holidays. As a gesture of good will, the Explorers purchased presents for the family and a "Christmas dinner in a box." The Explorers work in conjunction with the Bandera County Peace Officers Association and the Boy Scouts of America.
Open to youth from the age of 14 years, who have graduated from the eighth grade, Explorer opportunities include a ride-along program; classes in firearms training, accident reporting, criminal investigation and interview techniques; community service, public relations events, competitions and scholarships, among other activities. Participation in the Explorer program is allowed until youths reach the age of 20.
Additionally, Explorers sit in with emergency dispatchers and Explorers who are 17 years and older may participate in jail observations.
Aside from the age qualification, participants should have a clear criminal history and must maintain a satisfactory grade point average in school. However, students who have been involved in minor infractions with the law are not penalized.
The Explorer program is funded by donations without the use of taxpayer money. Explorer membership fees are $10 annually, which pays insurance obtained from the Boy Scouts of America,"
"Most of the Explorers are looking at law enforcement as a career," Harst said. "This way they can see the profession from the inside out, not from the outside in."
For more information about the BCSO Explorer Program, contact Harst at 830-796-4323.