The Marana Police Department strives to give the young people going through their Law Enforcement Explorer Program the most authentic experience possible. The culmination of that experience is their “Night Moves” training exercise.
This year’s exercise has been expanded to cover three nights. On July 20-22, between 4 pm and 10 pm Marana Explorers, plus explorers from nine other agencies, will participate in the simulated exercises.
The Explorers will be assigned to teams and supervised by a uniformed police officer in a marked police vehicle. The teams will be dispatched to a variety of simulated calls for service in real world locations. The Explorers have to work the radio, navigate travel to the calls, investigate the calls, complete any necessary reports and manage their own time. Night Moves is as close to the experience of being a Police Officer as anyone can get without being sworn in.
“These kids learned what it is truly like to be a police officer hands on,” said Marana Police Officer Kevin Litten, who oversees the Explorers program. “Anything I would do in a day, they are responsible for on that five-hour shift.”
The simulation utilizes police officer and volunteer role players to be the victims, witnesses, and suspects for the scenarios. These scenarios will take place in the Gladden Farms, Dove Mountain and Continental Ranch areas. For safety, a uniformed police officer will be at each location.
In addition to the Marana Police Department, Explorers from the El Mirage Police Department, Marana Police Department, Oro Valley Police Department, South Tucson Police Department, Tucson Police Department, United States Border Patrol – Tucson Sector, United States Border Patrol – Douglas Sector, Glendale Police Department, and Pascua Yaqui Tribal Police Department will participate.
The Explorer program is for young men and woman who are between the ages of fourteen and twenty who are interested in Law Enforcement. Police Officers provide training to the Explorers so they can determine if they would like to pursue a career in Law Enforcement.
“What we do is give them the real world, realistic training to make sure this is a career field they really want,” Litten said. “To help give them that education so they don’t have to waste time as they are older if this is something they don’t really want to do.”
If you have any questions regarding the Marana Police Explorer Program, or would like more information on this training exercise, please contact Officer Kevin Litten at (520) 975-9487. For more information on this program, please visit the Marana Police Explorers Facebook page (Facebook.com/MaranaPoliceExplorers).