07:23 AM PDT on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Press-Enterprise

The 60-day suspension of Explorer ride-alongs with San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies that was scheduled to expire Tuesday will be extended while a review of the entire program is completed, a spokeswoman said.

Sheriff Rod Hoops on May 5 suspended Explorer ride-alongs in the wake of a second deputy being arrested on suspicion of having sex with an underage female Explorer. Both incidents were alleged to have occurred on ride-alongs.

The Explorer program provides youths 14-21 who are interested in law-enforcement careers an up-close experience in the field.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Tuesday that reviewers have not yet submitted their findings and suggestions, and that there is no timetable to do so.

She said the suggestions are expected to include having the Explorers track a case as a deputy might, from the arrest to the incarceration. The Explorer would watch the deputy do the paperwork and would go to court.
The Explorer program provides youths interested in law enforcement careers an up-close look at the field.

Also, Explorers’ parents would be more involved by participating in meetings and observing training, Miller said.

The program is continuing without the ride-alongs. The latest two-week Explorer academy concluded Thursday with 45 prospective Explorers taking part in a simulated building search during which they shot at instructors using paintball guns.
Deputy Jassmyn Sanchez prepares potential Explorers for a training exercise that included a simulated building search.

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