The Walker River Paiute Tribal Police Department has begun the first Tribal Police Explorer Program in Nevada and only the fifth in the nation in Indian Country.
A recruitment night was set up in March with fliers and posters put out to the community for weeks. Representatives from the Boy Scouts of America and the police department as well as the tribal council were all present and hoping for enough applicants to arrive and sign up; the required minimum was five youth and five adults to become a recognized Explorer Post.
To increase the odds of having a good turnout, the organizers said joking they did what all experienced administrators do in Indian County — advertised free pizza and sodas to all who come. They added they felt blessed to have show up many youth, parents and community members just interested in seeing what the tribe was offering to the youth.
Boy Scouts of America representatives and the department chief explained the program, and applications were handed out and completed by individuals and families.
Applicants are accepted from the entire community ages 14 through 20 years old, and the organizers said many youth under 14 years old are anxiously awaiting their birthdays so they can join.
The department now has eight explorers — six young women and two young men. Four adults from the police and the tribal vice-chairman also signed up. The program was sanctioned by the Boy Scouts of America and given the post number requested — 1864, which represents the year the Walker River Paiute Tribe was founded.
The explorers voted to hold meetings weekly, Wednesday nights (lasting an hour and a half to two). The group also voted on their chairperson, Juliah Brown, and secretary, Lillianna Sanchez.
In the meetings, the explorers have completed their required basic training, prior to being eligible to go on ride-alongs. Those classes are as follows: First Aid, CPR/AED, Blood Borne Pathogens, Traffic Control, Crowd Control, Patrol Procedures, and Vehicle Equipment and Communications. Presently, seven explorers have completed their basic training and are going out on ride-alongs.
The explorers have also learned how to set up and instruct the Drunk Busters DUI course, which involves a subject wearing goggles that simulate various stages of intoxication and drug impairment. The explorers will then instruct subjects in the performance of the “One-Legged Stand” and “Walk and Turn” tests followed by riding a pedal cart through a course set up with cones.
The purpose is to teach youth about the dangers of alcohol abuse and drunk driving. The explorers have already learned to walk in formation, the department said, and were proud to walk in the Hawthorne 67th Armed Forces Day Parade. Sanchez is also the Walker River Princess and therefore could be in the parade in that capacity — however, her younger sister Asaya Sanchez, 6, filled in for her and walked the entire parade route in her sister’s place.
The Walker River Paiute Tribal Police Explorers are as follows: Jeidan Brown, Juliah Brown, Ysela Brown, Alexceah Emm, Cayce McMinn, Lilliana Sanchez, Marcellus Schaffer and Julieanna Williams.
The Explore Program is open for enrollment any time. The Walker River Paiute Tribe and the Walker River Tribal Police Department thank the Boy Scouts of America for making this program possible for their youth.