Comeback is planned for Belmar’s Police Explorer program

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A Belmar police cruiser. FILE PHOTO / THE COAST STAR

BELMAR — Borough Councilman Mark Walsifer and other officials are working to bring back Belmar’s Police Explorer program.

“Right now we are in the planning stages,” said Mr. Walsifer. “My vision would be that instead of having the entire responsibility of the program put on the police department, we get the recreation department involved and bring in parent volunteers.”

Mr. Walsifer said that in this way, “If the police department is busy handling other issues, the Police Explorers Program can still continue.”

“During my 25-year career as a police officer, we had a Police Explorer Program in Belmar,” Mr. Walsifer said. “I was never directly involved in the program because our officers had specific duties and there were officers, other than myself, assigned to the program. It wasn’t for lack of interest. I know in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, any non-essential programs were set aside to concentrate on restoring our town.”

Business Administrator Colleen Connolly said it is her understanding that the earlier Police Explorer Pro- gram in Belmar ended a few years before Sandy.

Discussions toward a revival are now under way with the chiefs of the police and fire department, captain of the first aid squad and the recreation director, as well as Ms. Connolly, Mr. Walsifer said.

Explorers learn about the inner workings of the police department, such as the importance of the police dispatchers, the operations of the detective bureau, and the day-to-day situations the patrol officers handle.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.

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Jennifer Ortiz
Jennifer Ortiz is a Reporter at The Coast Star. She can be reached at jortiz@thecoaststar.com or at 732-223-0076, ext 23.