Page 12 - Community Newsletter :: Spring 2021
P. 12

Although the law enforcement field can still be considered by some a male orientated profession, this is far from the reality. More and more females are joining the profession which includes the City of El Centro Explorer Program. Officer Adrian Chilpa is the lead coordinator for the program and discusses a young female cadet. He states, “Karina Valle was a student from the very first day the program opened. Since then, Karina has gone on to join the Army as a reservist serving as a Military Police Officer. In addition, Karina is now a paid employee of the El Centro Police Department and serves as a Community Officer. Karina is only nineteen years old and has a primary goal of becoming a police officer when she is able to apply at the age of twenty-one. Karina has told me personally that she credits the El Centro Police Department Explorer Program as a primary contributor to her success.”
Police explorer programs do not require any cadet to commit to a career in law enforcement. The training and experience the program provides can be helpful on any job application, enrollment into a college or even service in the military. Officer Alfredo Hernandez works with the explorer program and fully believes the program can lead to great success. “Although I did not attend the explorer program, my two brothers did and eventually both of them joined the military and then became law enforcement officers,” states Hernandez.
The program enables our youth to prepare for the future and also builds valuable skills by working and learning from a wide range of people and personalities. The explorer program promotes a sense of accomplishment by teaching responsibility not only to the team, but also keeping up with minimum grades through school and learning to be on time and dependable. The program continuously accepts applications for enrollment, but will generally host new group orientation once per year. Newly enrolled cadets will go through a three-month probationary period in which they are not to have any unexcused absences and must participate actively in class,
trainings and maintain a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 2.0 or above. After successful completion of the probationary period, cadets are awarded with a promotional ceremony and a certificate acknowledging them official explorers with the El Centro Police Department. It’s really quite an accomplishment.
The Environment of Todays Law Enforcement Officer
The essence in our country at this moment has a great deal of focus towards change in law enforcement in general. This movement has not deterred the enrollment into the program, but can have an impact on El Cento’s own police officers. Although there is no active discussion of this nature in El Centro, some cities and other government agencies across our country are looking for ways to defund, reduce funding the police and/or change the overall landscape in law enforcement in general. The American Police Officer must also find ways to deal with the barrage of social media and sometimes the media itself. This type of negative activity can have an impact on the overall morale of being in any kind of law enforcement and what the future holds for this profession.
Many officers feel the media and social media platforms can ignite or at the very least, increase the irritation the public may have towards law enforcement with misleading information. Media and social media markets are venues for broadcasting information that are often subjected to the opinion of the broadcaster, whether personal or professional, and in many cases, slant the broadcast post to where their own alliances are – whether factual or not.
Our society as a whole is very driven by immediate news and information and for those that use social media as a platform for broadcasting, many are looking for a magnitude of “views” and attention to their page, website, newspaper, TV or radio station. Some rely heavily on juicy or griping headlines and misbegotten or
  12 •   /ElCentroCa

   10   11   12   13   14