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Local Explorer Learns First-Hand What It Takes To Work In Law Enforcement


While most high school students are still enjoying their summer months of freedom, 17-year-old Molly Kaufman is getting a jump-start on a future career in law enforcement. Kaufman was one of 120 local participants at a Law Enforcement Explorer Academy held last month at Maryville University in St. Louis. The academy was hosted for Exploring members of the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s Learning For Life program.

Exploring is a career education program within the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women ages 14-21. It is designed to help young adults make a more informed decision about future careers and determine if a particular career is the right one for them by providing real-world career experiences. The academy was geared towards the Police Explorers, part of the Law Enforcement Explorer program.

A member with Post 9774, which is sponsored by the St. Louis County 7th Precinct, Kaufman first joined the Explorer program in middle school but it wasn’t until high school that she discovered her desire to work in criminal justice.

“I recently became a teacher’s assistant and I loved seeing people succeed and helping them along on the right path,” said Kaufman. “So it kind of led me to law enforcement because I was basically the enforcer in the class.”

With new job aspirations, Kaufman wanted to get more involved in the police field and that’s when she decided to attend the academy.

“I wanted to further my training since I can’t go into the police until I’m 21 years old,” Kaufman said. “I wanted to continue my training as long as possible so that when it does come time for the academy it won’t be as difficult as for others who were not in the Explorer program.”

Held every two years, police officers from 13 different law enforcement agencies collaborated to plan and implement the 2013 training academy. Participants live at the academy and undergo exercises in stressful situations while receiving a wealth of valuable instruction. During the course of the program, the Explorers are educated in areas such as physical fitness, range shooting, officer survival, written examinations and oral interviews.

“At the academy we had to wear uniforms every day until we were granted down time at the end of the day,” recalled Kaufman. “We had to attend multiple classes in the criminal justice field like the medical examiner’s office and criminal investigation. We lived in the dorms at Maryville University and we had room inspections every day, too. It actually exceeded my expectations and taught me a lot more than I anticipated.”

At the conclusion of the course, the Explorers graduate and receive recognition for their accomplishment.

Ed Ucinski, an Eagle Scout who volunteers as a co-advisor for Post 9774, strongly believes in the Exploring program and has been involved for three years.

“The Law Enforcement Explorer program is one of the best programs for potential police applicants to be involved in,” said Ucinski. “Not only does it provide you with a wealth of knowledge, it allows you to get the ‘hands-on’ aspect of what police officers do.”

Kaufman’s Post meets weekly with each session dedicated to additional training and education in law enforcement. Recently the group learned how to perform traffic stops and lift fingerprints. Later this year they will help out at Crisis Intervention Training for school resource officers.

Certainly Kaufman’s future looks bright with the knowledge and experiences she has gained as a Law Enforcement Explorer.

“Being in an Explorer Post you are known within the policing community,” Kaufman said. “If you eventually wanted to get a job in law enforcement, it would help to be an Explorer just so you can get your name out there and start working in that field at an earlier age.”

To learn more about Exploring visit or contact Mary April at 314-256-3098.