Police Explorers

Program Highlights

The South St. Paul Police Department is excited to announce we are NOW accepting applications for the Police Explorer program. The program promotes character building, development of leadership skills, and provides access to available scholarships.

The skills also benefit other aspects of life as well.

  • Last year Police Explorer Lieutenant Melissa Gruenewald was awarded “Explorer of The Year” over more than 500 explorers throughout the State of Minnesota because of the leadership she exudes and the character she added to her own skill set. In many ways she attributes the skills she has gained from being a part of the explorer program.
  • Police Explorer Matthew Kindem earned the Greg Orth Memorial Scholarship as a result of his tenure with the South St. Paul Police Explorer program.
  • Police Explorer Baily Ekness attributes the confidence she has gained, in addition to other skills she developed, to being a part of the program. She believes that these cultivated skills assisted her with earning the current Miss South St. Paul Kaposia Days crown 2016-2017.
  • Police Explorer Anthony Tonda contends that being committed to the program helps keep him focused on school work and increased his work ethic when participating in sports. Additionally, Anthony says he feels like part of the police explorer family and he doesn’t want to let them down.

Our post continues to earn awards at the state competition each year.

The talent continues to be more competitive and we anticipate another fun and rewarding year. The South St. Paul Police Department invites you to be a part of the fun while learning police skills, making friends, and developing character!

We are looking for quality candidates who are interested in the program. The Police Explorer program is available to those individuals between the ages of 14 and 20 and in 9th grade or above.

Program Overview

The South St. Paul Police Explorers program was established to offer young men and women an insight into the field of law enforcement. At the same time, the post members provide helpful services to the South St. Paul Police Department and to the community.

Post members learn valuable skills not only in police work, but in maturity and teamwork. These skills transfer well to everyday life.


Candidates should be of good character and trustworthy (as determined by explorer advisors), and have a willingness to participate in social and civil functions. Candidates cannot have been involved in any previous serious delinquent social or criminal behavior, as determined by explorer advisors who will conduct a basic background check.

Background Requirements

  1. School Report Card (2.5 G.P.A. or higher required)
  2. School Attendance (check for significant amounts of absences and tardiness)
  3. Criminal Background / Driving Record
  4. Disclosure of Police Contacts
  5. Employer Check (if applicable)
  6. Three Reference Checks

General Requirements

  • Be able to regularly attend post meetings and other training with reasonable notice of absence unless an emergency exists
  • Be able to interact well with others in working as a team and with the general public
  • Have an interest in a career in Law Enforcement or a related field

Please submit your application (PDF) and Disclosure of Police Contacts to the South St. Police Department as soon as possible.

Program Topics

  • Arrest and Search
  • Burglary Response
  • Bomb Scene
  • Crime Prevention
  • Crime Scene Search
  • Domestic Crisis
  • Emergency Field First Aid
  • Employment Interview
  • Hostage Negotiation
  • Street Decisions
  • Traffic Stops
  • Traffic Accident Investigation
  • White Collar Crime
  • Witness Interview

Benefits of Conducting a Police Explorer Program

As a person on the outside looking in, the role of the police has always been of interest to the average citizen. In this day and age, the television media and internet media have capitalized upon their curiosity.

Each week, television shows such as Cops, America’s Most Wanted and even internet websites and blogs illustrate real police action into the homes and works places of millions of Americans.

Knowing this, numerous police agencies in Minnesota and across the nation have also benefited from the curiosity that citizens have about the police. These agencies have formed Citizen's Academy programs that create an expansion of their community-based policing efforts.

Focus of the Explorer Program

The Explorer program is very similar to the Police Reserve program and the Citizen's Academy. However, its intent is to focus on teens and young adults ages 14 to 20 years old. The program's focus is to help build:

  • Career opportunities
  • Character
  • Citizenship
  • Education
  • Leadership experience
  • Life skills

The program offers benefits to the Police Department as well as the students.

 Investing in Career Opportunities

For the Police Department, the program offers an opportunity to invest in a career oriented individual who may potentially work for the agency. The Police Department can monitor and shape the development of the student through the program. It also offers an opportunity for the students to serve in the community. The students could be utilized to better serve the community in traffic control, community events, and other tasks.

For the student, the program offers the opportunity for an eager, career oriented individual to learn through a combination of lecture and hands on training. The student will learn how to handle many of the daily skills and tasks that are performed by the Police Department.

The skills that are learned through the program are evaluated on a regular basis by the officers teaching the program and are ultimately evaluated annually in a state competition held in Rochester, Minnesota in April. The competition gives the student a chance to earn scholarship money and bragging rights to the police department they represent.

Cost of the Explorer Program

  • Individual student fee - $32 the first year and $24 annually after that.
  • Items, such as a duty belt, boots, black socks, etc., are at the cost of the individual
  • Uniform and pants are purchased by the Police Department


  • Bi-weekly Sunday evenings 5 pm to 9 pm.
  • The first Saturday of the month with other law enforcement posts 8 am to 5 pm
  • Numerous volunteer options throughout the year that assist the police department (all optional).

Get your application (PDF) and Disclosure of Police Contacts in soon! Please turn in applications to the office at the South St. Paul Police Department or directly to Officer Richard Schwab who is School Resource Officer at the South St. Paul High School.