The South Miami Police Explorers were recently presented with a $1,000 check by Margaret Sotham, director of the Drug Free Coalition, which matched the $1,000 that the group raised at the KingPin Challenge Bowling fundraiser.
The Explorers raise funds to support their activities, which include school presentations, weekly classes and competitions. They also utilize the funds to pay for their uniforms, which give the teens a sense of pride and allow them to properly represent the Miami-Dade police force when they wear them. Detective Joe Mendez leads the troop in a three-hour class every Wednesday. During the meetings, he trains the aspiring police officers in criminal law and exposes them to real-life exercises, such as the handling of burglary investigation, traffic stop, accident, crisis intervention, domestic violence and search and arrest.
The South Miami Police Explorers came in second out of 19 teams in the county competition and now look forward to competing in the state competition. Detective Mendez said he is very proud of his group’s performance.
Dailin Roman, a high school sophomore, has been part of the program for two years. She joined the Explorers after visiting the criminology tables at a UM career fair.
“Six of us are randomly chosen and then they narrow that crew down to four, and the four chosen compete on behalf of the rest of team,” said Dailin, describing the process to attend the state competition. “Last year, we came in sixth in state and we really want to improve on that.”