Man takes leap from Explorer program to sheriff’s deputy |

Man takes leap from Explorer program to sheriff’s deputy

by F.T. Norton

Proving the Carson City Sheriff’s Department teen program is a stepping stone into law enforcement, an Explorer cadet was sworn in as a deputy Tuesday by Sheriff Kenny Furlong.

Bobby Gillings, 21, a 2002 Carson High School graduate, said he hasn’t always been interested in law enforcement, but while taking a criminal justice class in college, his instructor’s enthusiasm sparked his interest.

In 2003 he joined the Explorer program and will graduate from the High Sierra Law Enforcement Academy in Reno on Friday. Gillings will begin working in the Carson City Jail as a deputy Saturday.

“I think Gillings is a good investment,” said Furlong. “He’s someone who has grown up in Carson City, has associated himself with Sheriff’s Department through the cadet Explorer program and placed himself as a student at the High Sierra Academy. All of these show good judgment and good character.”

The Explorer program, open to ages 14 to 20, is a valuable tool for teens interested in a career in law enforcement, said Deputy Earl Mays, executive Explorer advisor and former Reno Explorer.

“This is the easiest and best way to get your foot in the door,” he said.

Mays said the program teaches youth responsibility and helps develop a sharp mind and body.

There are 12 cadets in the free program which meets Tuesday nights.

Cadets learn about law enforcement history, patrol procedures, first aid, radio procedures, crime scene techniques, firearm safety, traffic control and search and rescue. The participants must maintain a 2.5 GPA, good moral character, have no serious criminal record or arrests and demonstrate a willingness to serve their community. Candidates must pass a oral exam and background investigation for acceptance.

“The Explorer program is excellent,” Gillings said. “It teaches kids responsibility and having morals. It teaches you to be responsible for yourself.”

Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


• For information on being an Explorer cadet call 887-2020 ext. 5280 or e-mail Deputy Earl Mays at

• Applications can also be picked up from the front counter of the Sheriff’s Department at 901 East Musser Street.

• Businesses interested in sponsoring the program can contact Sheriff Ken Furlong or Under-sheriff Steve Albertsen at 887-2020 ext. 1900.