Location: Sheriff's Headquarters, 833 S. Akers St., Visalia
Incident Date: 12/13/18
Posted by: Media Relations
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Fire Chief Charlie Norman hosted an open house Thursday at the headquarters for both departments, located at 833 S. Akers St., Visalia.
During the opening ceremony, Sheriff Boudreaux gave away more than 20 bicycles to Junior Explorers, formerly known as Sheriff’s PAL kids.
The Junior Explorer Youth Development Program helps at-risk children, ages 8-12, by fostering positive relationships with law enforcement. Junior Explorers get to go on a camping trip to the Central Coast in the summer, to the Tulare County Fair in the fall and to the International Agri-Center for a holiday party in December.
Throughout the year, the Sheriff’s Office gives away up to 200 bicycles to Junior Explorers thanks to generous donations from businesses and community members.
Also, during the opening ceremony, Sheriff Boudreaux and Kim Oviatt, President of the Sence Foundation, awarded Pathways Scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to two Explorers: Esteban Infante and Esmeralda Corona.
Sheriff Boudreaux created the Pathways Scholarship program, with funding from the Sence Foundation, to help college-bound Sheriff’s Explorers get an education and, after graduation, attend the police academy and become deputies in their hometowns.
Esteban Infante of Earlimart graduated from Delano High School in 2017. He is a student at Bakersfield College, majoring in Administration of Justice. He said he plans to transfer to Fresno State and graduate with a bachelor’s degree, attend the police academy and become a Deputy Sheriff in his hometown of Earlimart.
“This is a great honor for me,” Infante said. “It means hope for me, that now I can go to a university and, later, become a Deputy Sheriff.”
Infante became familiar with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office as a Sheriff’s Explorer. As an Explorer, he volunteered in the community, placed in Explorer competitions and rose to the rank of Lieutenant.
Being an Explorer, he said, prepared him for a career in law enforcement by giving him the necessary skills to be successful, how to handle different scenarios and perfect his communication skills.
Infante said he wants to be a Deputy Sheriff because no two days are the same.
“There’s something new every day and I will never know what I will encounter that day,” he said. “I want to be a Deputy Sheriff for Tulare County because it gives me the opportunity to serve in the community where I grew up.”
Esmeralda Corona of Porterville graduated from Granite Hills High School in 2017. She currently attends Porterville College, majoring in Administration of Justice.
Corona said she is grateful to receive the Sheriff’s Pathways Scholarship.
“It brings me one step closer to making my career in law enforcement a reality,” she said.
During her five years as a Sheriff’s Explorer, Corona rose to the rank of Captain. She said the training she received and the ride alongs she went on will serve her well when she becomes a Deputy Sheriff in Tulare County.
“There is more to law enforcement than just taking bad guys to jail,” she said. “I want to be that Deputy who makes a difference in my community and motivates people in Tulare County to trust in law enforcement.”
Corona is the first in her family to go to college. Receiving the Pathways Scholarship means a lot to her, she said.
“Going into law enforcement has been a dream of mine since I was first introduced to the field by my fourth-grade teacher who was a retired police officer,” she said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to receive this scholarship.”
Info: If you know someone who would like to become a Junior Explorer or an Explorer for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, contact Lt. Chris Galvez at (559) 782-6852.