Though the rest of Newton County’s students may be on fall break this week, one group of high school students participating in the Covington Police Department’s Explorers program continued their learning outside of the classroom.
The Covington Explorers met from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday at the police department to train on riding Segways, two-wheeled motorized personal vehicles.
Shelley Van Brocklin, of Social Circle, said she was in the Covington area Monday night when she noticed the group of students training at the police station and immediately became fascinated. After learning more about the program, she said she impressed by seeing CPD Officer Allan Seebaran mentoring the young people.
Seebaran, adviser for the Covington Explorers, said the students meet every Monday night to train and gain knowledge about the law enforcement profession. Students ages 14-21 are eligible for the program.
Students receive training in accident investigations, traffic stops, felony traffic stops, crime scene investigations, burglaries-in-progress and other police-related situations.
Seebarabn added that the Newton County Sheriff’s Office has a similar program for high-schoolers.
"What they do is after they have gained enough knowledge and experience in dealing with these situations, we compete in competitions either in the state or out of state," he said.
Seebaran said the program helps participants determine if they’re interested in law enforcement careers. He said some students. in fact, participate for years and then pursue careers in law enforcement.
"(Students) don’t get grades for it, but it gives them the practical knowledge of what law enforcement is about," Seebaran said. "It helps them after they graduate from high school and they’re of age to get hired on with an agency. It helps them with their hiring process because they already have working … knowledge of what law enforcement is."
Seebaran said the Explorers also participate in community events. They help out at road races in the city — such as the Fuzz Run and the Cheerios Challenge, at parades and at charity events going on around the downtown square.
"The Explorers participate in that in some capacity to help with either crowd control or public relations, or in some capacity to help the event go smoothly," he said.
Seebaran said he’s been privileged to have students interested in the program.
"I’ve been fortunate throughout the years to have really good kids who have joined the program that are motivated to come out on Monday nights and train," he said. "They hate missing a class. If I have to cancel a class, they get on to me about canceling our classes — they’re that motivated that they want to come out."
For more information about the Covington Explorers, contact the CPD at 770-786-7605.