Cranston students explore Camp Varnum

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The state Explorer Academy is sponsored by the Boy Scouts and is a one-week camp that exposes police explorers to some of the aspects of police work. The 53 Explorers spent the week of June 24-30 at Camp Varnum in Narragansett.

"They are provided (modified) trainings in the areas of criminal law, defensive tactics, handcuffing, CPD/AED, first aid, patrol bicycles, domestic violence, DWI and others,” said Lieutenant Mark Freeborn, who is the training division commander for the Cranston Police Department. “They have PT training each morning and do simulated patrols in the evenings where they respond to calls for service. The program concludes on Saturday with a graduation ceremony.”

Jesahias Quioria, a Cranston East student who participated in the program, wrote the following in an email, chronicling what the program is like.

"The program brings together multiple R.I. Explorer programs such as Cranston, Providence, East Providence, and others. The program gave classes on CSI, Car Crashes, Car stop scenarios, Bulding Searches, handcuffing, and many other classes,” he wrote. “Every morning, we would have a PT session at 5 a.m. led by East Providence Police Lieutenant David Pacheco leading up to an obstacle course and a PT test out.”

“For three nights, an event called Firewatch would occur where one of the three squads would be tasked to go around Camp Varnum where they would have to respond to certain scenarios that would be similar to what actual police officers would respond to, which would last from 9:30-11:30 a.m.,” he continued. “As for those returning to the program, they would be given a vest to wear and would be taken to different classes than first years such as SIM Training, Driving a Police Car, Tactical Perimeter Searching, and many other classes. Over the course of the week, each squad would be given a guidon (colored flag) color coordinated with the color of their squad, but the advisors could steal it, which eventually every squad lost their guidon.”

“This all led up to a raid on Friday night where multiple teams would be tasked to search a building for the guidons with the advisors acting as threats within the building,” he wrote. “Overall, I enjoyed the program for the discipline and classes it gave. The leadership role within the program that it helps explorers achieve is great.”

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