Edmonds Police Explorers

For information on the Edmonds Police Department Explorer Program
contact Detective Andrew Mehl ( [email protected])

The Exploring provides young people with solid information about the adult world they are preparing to enter. The program gives today's teenagers a chance to learn firsthand about a wide variety of careers and special interests, and is aimed at providing young people with information and experiences that will help them enter the adult world.

As a career awareness program, it provides insight for young adults to the aims and objectives of sponsoring agencies and, in many instances, encourages then to develop their careers within these professions. It improves public relations of sponsoring agencies whose internal operations and functions are not fully understood by the general public. In addition, these agencies receive the assistance of Explorer Scout participants in a variety of activities that, in the instance of law enforcement agencies, supplements their manpower or administrative tasks and allows them to perform other needed police services. 

...from the Edmonds Police Department Explorer

The post was started in 1985 with 7 Explorers by Sergeant Jeff Jones under the leadership of Chief Dan Prinz (Ret.), and is open to any interested young people ages 14 to 21. We currently meet every Tuesday night at 7 PM in the police station (250 5th Ave N). In the meeting we cover upcoming events, uniform inspections, classes, and drill downs.

Most everything that we do in exploring is patterned after what we would experience as a police officer. The interview, the academies, the assessment center, and the training all give us a taste of what it is like to be an officer. Not all Explorers become police officers, but all become better citizens because of it. Some of the most exciting training that we get is on ride-along with police officers on patrol.

As a post we are completely self funded. All the events and activities that we attend are paid for out of our accounts. We do fund-raisers (like car washes) to earn the money to go to different events. This way the post learns to work together as a team, and we also avoid being a financial burden to the police department.


There are many different events that you can attend as an Explorer. They range from local city events to national conferences and academies. Here are some of the events that the Edmonds Explorers attend.


  • Parades
  • Fourth of July Fireworks Display (Traffic)
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony (Traffic and Crowd Patrol)
  • Ball Roll (Traffic)
  • Halloween (Traffic and Crowd patrol)
  • Evidence Searches
  • Arts Festival (Night security)
  • Taste of Edmonds (Night security)
  • All County Meetings (ACE)

State and National Level:

Local Events

Local events are split into three categories, traffic and crowd control, community service, and security. In traffic and crowd control, we work at the City of Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony, Halloween Night, Fourth of July Parade and Fire Works Display, and Ball Roll. We also assist other cities in the area with parades.

For the community we serve a range of people in a variety of tasks over a wide area. Finger Printing, Day camp, Safety week at the mall, Census, Races.

Every year we provide the night security for the Edmonds Arts Festival and the Taste of Edmonds. We have also provided security for Stevens Hospital.

WLEEA Academies

WLEEA (Washington Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors) is the state advisors association. They are the ones who put together the State Explorer Academies and the Blue Mountain Challenge. The Academies are held twice a year. One in the summer at the Yakima Firing Range and one in the winter at Camp Murry. There are three levels to the academy. The basic class is held at every academy and every one must pass it before they can go on to advanced and A.P.D.

There are three different advanced classes that you can attend, and they rotate at one per academy. The three curriculums with corresponding mock scenes are advanced patrol procedures, narcotics, and investigations.

The final level is what we call Academy Police Department (APD.) In APD explorers spend the entire week as if they had been hired by a police department.

Academy is run like a boot camp on a one week scale. You get up at 5:30 or 6 AM and finally get to bed at 10 PM (if you are lucky). During the day your activities include cleaning your barracks, K.P., marching, classes, meals, drill downs, and study time. In the Basic academy you learn the basic skills of an Explorer, such as directing traffic, using the radio, and report writing. You also learn the basic "mock scenes". In a mock scene you play the role of an officer in a situation that a real officer faces regularly. These include traffic stops, building searches, field interviews, domestic violence intervention, and felony stops. You also learn how to march and do facing movements, which you practice throughout the week.

In the advanced academy, you take the week to focus on one area. In the narcotics academy we study what the different drugs are, what the street value is, how to write and serve a search warrant and how to investigate. We also do advanced mock scenes like a UC buy/bust, a CI buy, and search warrant service.

Once you have been to two advanced academies and are over 18 you can apply for Academy Police Department (APD.) In APD you spend the week as one big mock scene. From the time you send in your application and go through the interviews, to when you arrive and start patrol, to when you graduate, everything is made as real as possible. You spend you shift answering calls from a dog barking to hostage situations to homicide investigations. With every call you have to write a report, and if it's not good enough then you get to write it again. It can get pretty stressful, because, just like real life, if you are shot you don't get a second chance. Fortunately in APD you are sent home, not to the morgue.

At any level the academies are a lot of hard work, but also can be a lot of fun. You can make a lot of friends that you will see at other events, and you get a chance to relax at the dance held at every academy.

Blue Mountain Challenge

The Blue Mountain Challenge is a mock scene competition for explorers. It is held at a high school in Richland over the weekend in April. It's a chance to have fun, learn, practice your mock scenes and maybe even win a metal. Gold, Silver and Bronze metals are awarded to the top 3 teams in the following competitions:

Team competitions: Individual competitions:
  • Report Writing
  • Domestic Violence Intervention
  • Building Searches
  • Traffic Stops
  • Field Interviews
  • Vehicle Searches
  • Physical agility
  • Firearms
  • Shoot/Don't Shoot

Western Regional Conference

The Western Regional Conference is held in the Western United States every summer. This event includes a lot of great training, usually by Federal agencies, and a mock scene competition. It is also a chance to make some friends from all over and generally have a good time.

National Conference

The National Conference is held somewhere in the United States every two years. The conference is a solid week of some of the best training out there, along with demonstrations and other events. There is also a ton of other things going on at the same time. This is where you elect the National Law Enforcement Explorers Youth Staff for the next few years. And the FBI leadership academy has a reunion there. This is the event to go to. And as with most other events you make a lot of friends and get a chance to see how other posts do things.

National Leadership Academy

The National Leadership Academy is an 11 day academy put on by the FBI to focus on leadership skills. The academy is held in Washington, DC. Most of the training is at the FBI Building, and housing is at George Washington University. Only 30 Explorers out of the nation are accepted out of the over 200 that apply. This has to be one the best opportunities for Explorers out there. You not only get to spend time in the FBI HQ in Washington, DC but every other national Law Enforcement Agency as well.


The training that we receive comes in many different forms. We receive formal training at the Explorer Academies and from our Police Departments and personal training on ride-along and at other times. Some of the training we have received from our department is:

  • Defensive tactics
  • Building searches (2 and 4 person)
  • K-9
  • Leadership
  • Community Oriented Policing

Edmonds Police Department

250 5th Ave N.
Edmonds, WA 98020
425.771.0200 (voice)
425.771.0208 (fax)

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30

For In Progress Emergencies

CALL 911

For Non-Emergency police response or
to file a police report

CALL (425) 407-3999

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