Posted by: Media Relations

The Central Valley Law Enforcement Explorer Competition, an annual competition open to law enforcement Explorer Posts from all over the State of California, was held this past weekend March 20th through the 22nd at the Tulare Fairgrounds. 

During an intense two days of competition, 27 posts – with a total of 280 Explorers and 101 Explorer Advisors in all - from as far south as Calexico Police Department to as far north as Lake County Sheriff’s Department competed in eleven scenarios, a written and oral exam, a tug of war, and an obstacle course. 

Friday was full of teams from the different Explorer posts making a circuit of the different scenarios where they showed what they had learned, and faced simulations of what law enforcement officers face on a regular basis – building searches, domestic violence calls, vehicle searches, felony vehicle stops, suspicious night time calls for service, DUI stops, crime scene investigations, medical aid calls, and crisis negotiation calls. Oral and written examinations are also given, and the Explorers who rank in the top five are awarded scholarships up to $2,500.

Throughout the year, Explorer Posts train for these kinds of events, and several times a year those skills are put to the test in competitions. The Central Valley Law Enforcement Explorer Competition, hosted by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, is one of the largest Explorer competitions in the state. 

Saturday’s competition was no less intense with a tug of war and obstacle course – including rounds for the Explorer Advisors. The tug of war competition, resembling a March Madness bracket, pitted Post against Post in five and ten person teams. Departments that had more than one Post sometimes competed against each other, such as California Highway Patrol who had Explorers from Visalia, Fresno, and Bakersfield, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department who had Explorers from Headquarters, Orosi, Pixley, and Porterville. 

Explorer Advisors also had a chance to test their skills, as Police Department Advisors competed against Sheriff’s Department Advisors, and then the winning Sheriff’s Department Advisors against Highway Patrol Advisors. The Advisors also kicked off the obstacle course run, with male and then female Advisors running an extensive obstacle course that included scaling four and six foot walls, an army crawl tunnel and more.  

Explorer Posts competed as individuals and teams in the obstacle course, as one male and one female competed from each Post as they were cheered on by teammates and other Posts stationed around the course. When competing as a team, in addition to the other obstacles, team members helped each other over the six foot wall, carried a large weighted dummy as a team, and were required to push a patrol car a certain distance before completing the course. 

The results of the weekend’s competition were kept secret until the top five competitors were announced during Sunday’s awards ceremony.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department placed in the following: 


Vehicle Search

5th Place, Orosi Substation


Tug of War, 5 person team

5th Place, Pixley Substation

Felony Stop

2nd Place, Pixley Substation

4th Place, Headquarters Substation


Explorer Ride-Along

3rd Place, Pixley Substation


Night Time Suspicious Vehicle

4th Place, Headquarters Substation


Tug of War, 10 person team

3rd Place, Headquarters Substation


DUI Traffic Stop

1st Place, Pixley Substation


Oral Examination

4th Place, Headquarters Substation


Medical Aid

5th Place, Porterville Substation


 Individual Obstacle Course, Female Explorer

2nd Place, Headquarters Substation

4th Place, Porterville Substation


Individual Obstacle Course, Male Explorer

1st Place, Pixley Substation

Individual Obstacle Course, Female Advisor

4th Place, Headquarters Substation


Scholarship Awards

2nd Place, Porterville Substation

Rebekah Wells

$2,000 check and a laptop

4th Place, Orosi Substation

Jasmine Orozco

$1,250 check and a laptop


A very special thank you to the following individuals who were instrumental in making this year’s competition a success:

Sam Cuii, who assisted in arranging donations

Teresa Ramos, Alfredo Parra, and Beatriz Revelez who participated in judging scholarship applicants

Sergeant Alan Knight

The Quintana Family

Steve and Mary Sanchez

Rick Ince and Greg Camack, volunteer advisors

Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart for their donations

The Community Based Officers and Advisors for their work with Explorers year round


The Explorer Program is administered by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department as a branch of the Boy Scouts of America. Exploring is a worksite-based program. It is part of a career education program for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years old. Some typical activities include uniformed patrol ride-alongs to observe officers at work, classes on law enforcement topics, and interacting with public during street fairs, parades, or other civic events.

The Sheriff's Department Explorers participate in the Tulare County Fair, International Ag Expo, and other public events by assisting with parking and other duties as a way to raise money needed to travel to and register for competitions.


Exploring's purpose is to provide experiences that help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Explorers are ready to investigate the meaning of interdependence in their personal relationships and communities.

Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities. The Sheriff’s Department has initiated a specific Explorer Post, #355, by matching our staff and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop.

The Sheriff’s Department Exploring Program is based on five areas of emphasis:


Career Opportunities

    - Develop potential contacts that may broaden employment options

    - Boost self-confidence and experience success at school and work


Life Skills

    - Develop physical and mental fitness

    - Experience positive social interaction



    - Encourage the skill and desire to help others

    - Gain a keen respect for the basic rights of others


Character Education

    - Help make ethical choices

    - Fulfill one's responsibilities to society as a whole


Leadership Experience

    - Acquire leadership skills necessary to fulfill one's responsibilities in society

    - Develop a variety of leadership traits


As a result, young adults involved in Exploring will gain practical knowledge of and experience in a career . The Exploreres will be engaged in a program of activities centered on career opportunities, life skills, citizenship, character development, and leadership experience to encourage the development of the whole person. These young adults will have opportunities to take on leadership roles with a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and enjoyable environment.

Scholarships are also available to Explorers who chose to attend the local police academy in order to pursue a career in Law Enforcement. A number of the Sheriff’s Department personnel began their careers as explorers and have promoted through our ranks.