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Each year, over 300 Police Explorers compete in the Learning for Life, Southeast Regional Police Explorer Competition. Councilman Larry Roth came before the Council to recognize the Homestead Police Explorers for their exemplary performance during this year’s competition, as well as their service and dedication throughout the year.
“We are lucky to have a group of young adults here that really care about our community,” said Councilman Roth. “They put in countless hours of work and are so dedicated to serving Homestead. You don’t truly appreciate the talent and commitment that these Police Explorers have until you work side by side with them.”
During the Learning for Life Competition, Police Explorers from Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties compete in various activities, including handling of calls in 6 primary scenarios: domestic violence, traffic stop, in-progress call, search, crisis intervention, and crime scene processing. As the explorers entered each scenario, they had no knowledge of the details of the call until immediately before they went in.
Once the police Explorers entered the scene they were required to handle the call accordingly. As they proceeded through each scenario, two judges shadowed them and scored them as to their handling of each situation in regard to Miranda, consent, arrest-no arrest, handcuffing, fingerprinting, determining Baker Act, etc. At the end, the scores were tallied and averaged based on the scores given by both judges for each situation.
This is the 4th year that the Homestead Police Explorers have taken part in the event. The participants in the competition were Chief Explorer Gabriela Franqui, Major Brandon Hernandez, Explorer Jeovany Valdes, Explorer Nicole Pontrelli, Explorer Sgt. Chris Leon, Explorer Alex Melendez, Explorer Dominique Farrell, and Explorer Captain Yortsan Gandia.
The Homestead Police Explorers also competed in other secondary activities which included ammunition, target shooting, physical agility, obstacle course, police biking, and basketball.
The Homestead Police Explorers placed 8th over-all in the competition. Search & Arrest - 2nd Place went to Chief Explorer Gabriela Franqui, Explorer Major Brandon Hernandez, Explorer Lieutenant Jeovany Valdes, and Explorer Sgt. Nicole Pontrelli. Police Biking- 4th Place went to Explorer Nicole Pontrelli.