EXPLORER POST 638
Exploring involves Discovery; not just seeing new things with your eyes, but gaining insights into yourself and the people around you. Explorers inquire, wonder, imagine, dream, and risk. They learn to respect and appreciate what it takes to be willing to discover, and what it takes to commit to a journey into the unknown. Explorers take on the challenge of change; within themselves, and within those around them.
Post 638 Establishes and fosters a relationship between Buffalo Police Officers and the City of Buffalo Youth by providing young people opportunities that promote leadership, confidence, self discipline, and community service all while developing an awareness of the purpose, mission and objectives of law enforcement and the Buffalo Police Department.
What is Explorers Post 638?
Explorers Post 638 is a supporting learning environment that the youth of the City of Buffalo, ages 14 through 20, can take advantage of to explore the several career paths within law enforcement, build character, refine themselves academically and establish the foundations of a successful life in a way that is both challenging and fun. Platoons are recruited each September for a 9 month program. Upon successfully completing the program, recruits are presented with a certificate issued by the Buffalo Police Department.
What do Explorers do?
Explorers of Post 638 receive classroom training and hands on experiences designed to reinforce academic, social, ethical, and character development skills in various areas, such as critical and creative thinking, conflict resolution, decision making, interpersonal relationships, practical life skills, self-esteem, writing and language arts, citizenship and personal fitness.
What do Explorers do during meetings?
Explorers at Post #638 have the unique experience of receiving class room and hands on training from and exposure to all aspects of the Buffalo Police Department including: Patrol Officers, Detectives, Command Staff, SWAT, Accident Investigation Unit, K9 Handlers, Honor Guard, Firearms Instructors, Crime Scene Unit and Dispatch. Additionally, our recruits receive training from and exposure to the various partners of the Department.
Where do Explorers meet?
Explorers meet at The Police and Fire Headquarters located at 68 Court St. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month for scheduled meetings and at Delaware Park on Saturday mornings for physical training.
How long has Explorers Post 638 been around?
Post 638 was established in June of 2019. However, Exploring has been a part of Boy Scouts of America since July 12, 1973. The Buffalo Police Department did have another Post during the 20 year career of retired Police Officer Jeanie Rak. During her time, she guided hundreds of youths and won national competitions. Our Post owes a debt of gratitude to Officer Rak and her many years of service to the many recruits that she mentored.
BYRON C. LOCKWOOD
Though being born in Florida, Commissioner Lockwood grew up in the City of Buffalo and became a member of the Buffalo Police Department in January 1984, working his way through the ranks of Patrol Officer, Detective and Detective Sergeant. In March 2018, he was appointed Police Commissioner. He has played a major role in numerous collaborative efforts with other law enforcement agencies and partnerships in Western New York. He has also helped to re-establish community policing through the creation of the Neighborhood Engagement Team and other efforts to improve dialogue between the community and police officers. His support for the establishment of this new Explorer Post is an extension of that effort and his personal belief that where one comes from should not hinder the pursuit of one's dreams.
Lt. Macy has served as a board member, overseeing multiple steps of the development of this program. Acting as a solid sounding board, as he has multiple years serving as a successful Community Police Officer, honing years of creativity and ambition that serve both the community and police force needs. Additionally, Lt. Macy has spent time developing classes in which he reviews with Buffalo Police Explorer recruits various tactical strategies that he has acquired during his lengthy experience part of the United States Army, as well as a current member of the SWAT team.
LT CRAIG MACY
Officer Joelle Bence, MSW has had a lifelong passion for community development. She earned her MSW in 2011 to formalize her passion and learn to practically implement it. After making a career change from the Mental Health Care industry in 2014 to the Buffalo Police Department, she served 5 years in the west and east side communities as a police officer, ultimately having the unique opportunity to create a new Explorer branch under Commissioner Lockwood. She has been grateful to be tasked with the job of a full program development and implementation, all while mentoring 35 recruits each year.
PO JOELLE BENCE, MSW
PO M. SULLIVAN, LT. R. DANNER, PO A. YEATES, PO J. BENCE
The Finance Board is comprised of one Buffalo Police Lieutenant and 3 Buffalo Police Officers whose cumulative time with the department equates to 42 years of service. While their role is with The Buffalo Police Explorer recruits is more “hands off”, the program simply would not exist without The Finance Board’s contributions. This program exists solely from fundraising efforts and donations. The Finance Board donates their time and dips into their resources to find funds from local businesses and individuals who believe in the mission of this unit. A yearly goal of $30,000 has been set, and nearly met for the year, to accommodate the many expenses that exist to operate this program.
PHYSICAL FITNESS BOARD
PO C. OREFICE, PO Z. KEDRON, PO R. ISCH
The Physical Training Board is comprised of 4 Buffalo Police Officers who have various experiences in fitness coupled with an interest in mentoring the city youth. They conference on functional techniques, practical applications, and in addition, actually go into the community to train the recruits 2 Saturdays a month. This board is an instrumental part of the Buffalo Police Explorers, as it trains recruits to complete the physical training necessary to be hired as a police officer. Most importantly, the board members are training the recruits how to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines.
Neighborhood Engagement Team (NET)
The Neighborhood Engagement Team (NET) was uniquely and progressively established by Commission Byron Lockwood in 2018. This team works in a multitude of areas with a primary focus on establishing relationships between police and the community. Leading in the national trend of Community Police work, NET additionally plays an important role in partaking in Explorer meetings, providing manpower for 3 hours twice a month, and engaging with the recruits in various scenarios.