Marana officer earns Optimist Club award

For Town of Marana Police Officer Kevin Litten, service to his community, especially youth, does not end with his on-duty work shifts.  His passion and leadership for the Marana Police Explorer Program will be recognized by the Marana-Foothills Optimist Club during the Town Council meeting on Aug. 4.

The Marana-Foothills Optimist Club will honor Officer Litten by presenting him with its first “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” award. Marana Mayor Ed Honea, a member of the Marana-Foothills Optimist Club, will present the award. The Optimist club plans to continue choosing a recipient in future years, President Wally Smith said.

The recognition focuses on Officer Litten’s outstanding work with young people in the Marana area and for his leadership and mentoring of members of the Marana Police Explorer Program as the group's advisor.

Officer Litten describes the Explorer program as a hands-on, real-world law enforcement experiences through training taught by police officers and by participating in ride-alongs with the officers, other training opportunities, and competitions with other police Explorer programs. The Explorers often assist the police and community by volunteering at community events.

The program helps develop self-discipline, self-confidence, self-respect, leadership skills, teamwork and the desire to help others.

Explorers can range in age from 14 to 20 and must be enrolled in high school or home schooled and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. They can have no arrest or convictions that would prohibit later employment as a police officer. Like police officers they must be in good physical health and able to participate in physical activities. They attend weekly meetings and one weekend training a month.