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Posted on: January 25, 2023

Santa Paula Police Explorers Earn an Award in First-Ever Chandler Tactical Competition

Police Explorers receive award

In January, Santa Paula Police Department Explorer Post #2350 embarked on its first-ever journey to participate in the Chandler Tactical Competition.  Explorers representing 45 law enforcement agencies from across the nation participated in the highly competitive event in Chandler, Arizona. The Post returned to Santa Paula with a Third Place Award in the “Unknown Alarm Response” Scenario.

The Chandler Police Department in Arizona has hosted this annual event for the past 25 years. Not only does the trip involve continuous training throughout the year, but it also requires strong leadership and mentorship by our Post’s advisors. Participation in this prestigious competition required a lot of logistical planning and a high level of supervision by the adult advisors consisting of volunteers, professional staff, and sworn officers. Interim Police Chief Don Aguilar attended the event to support the explorers and advisors.

“This event commands the trust and respect of each explorer to their team. They return home with confidence in critical decision making, growing comradery and enhanced communication skills,” commented Chief Aguilar.  “This is a win for the team and for their professional growth in the future.”

Our Post’s young men and women had to prepare for several tactical scenarios they would be rated on in the competition. Each explorer participated in a wide range of tactical scenarios, including alarm response, crisis negotiations, downed officer rescue, rapid response, SWAT fitness challenge, tactical emergency medical support, high risk vehicle stop and more.  As each activity requires critical thinking skills and physical capabilities, these events teach young adults high level response skills and prepare them for encounters they may experience in a law enforcement career. 

“I’m extremely proud of what this Post’s young men and women have accomplished. When we returned after COVID in November 2021, we had four explorers. After a year of recruiting and training new explorers, our Post earned first place at the Ventura County Tactical Tournament,”  said Officer Varela, a U.S. Army veteran. “This month, we set our eyes on Chandler, Arizona. We knew it was going to be difficult with 45 other explorer Posts from across the country, but our explorers had extraordinary performances and received positive feedback from the scenario judges. This has made me really proud to be a part of this Police Department and community.”

In addition to the event, the explorers also toured the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. The trip gave explorers the opportunity to learn more about each other, perform as a cohesive team and experience a lifestyle outside their hometown. 

“The trip to Arizona with the Santa Paula Police Explorers was truly unforgettable. Participating in the Chandler Tactical Competition gave me the opportunity to make lifelong memories and have experiences that I will carry forever,” said Santa Paula Police Senior Explorer Sandra Lopez. 

“Exploring this new state (of Arizona) has opened my eyes to endless possibilities that we, as young adults, can take advantage of. Touring Arizona State University has motivated me to continue growing and opened my mind to higher education outside of my small town and Ventura County.”  

The Santa Paula Police Explorer Post #2350 will be recognized at the Santa Paula City Council meeting on February 1 at 6:30 p.m. Join us in congratulating the Santa Paula Police Department Post #2350 for persevering and earning a highly coveted award in their first-ever participation at the Chandler Tactical Competition!

The Santa Paula Police Department encourages young men and women between the ages of 14-20 to join the Law Enforcement Explorer Program. The program is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, and participants have an opportunity to learn more about the discipline and structure involved in a law enforcement career or other related fields. For more information on becoming a Santa Paula Police Explorer please submit an email to santapaulaexplorers@spcity.org.

Read the full bilingual press release...
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