The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station’s Sheriff’s Explorers program, which is available to students ages 14 to 20, introduces youth to careers in law enforcement. In addition to ride-alongs with Sheriff’s deputies and attendance at a two-week training academy, Sheriff’s Explorers participate in mock police calls alongside explorer teams from different communities. This past weekend, five of these explorers, under the tutelage of Deputies Travis Wijnhamer and Alex Collins, participated in the Southern California Regional Explorer Competition in Rancho Cucamonga. The two-day event put the explorers in real-life police officer scenarios, such as shootings in progress, dealing with mentally ill persons, and felony traffic stops. Their year of training resulted in a second place trophy for the five: 15-year-old Captain Tyler Garland and Lieutenant Amberlynn Venegas, Sergeant Sarah Button, Corporal Oscar Holm and Robert Holm. This is the first trophy that the Big Bear Sheriff’s Explorers have won since 1990 and, in fact, Deputy Collins placed first in the advisor obstacle course.
The Sheriff’s Explorers were also on hand at last night’s National Night Out event, sponsored by the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station. The annual event had a great turnout of not just local law enforcement and emergency personnel, but representatives of community programs and a high turnout of attendees, who enjoyed the classic cars, rock climbing wall, games, and music by KBHR. There were three medical incidents during National Night Out, each of which was quickly attended to, given the large number of emergency personnel on hand. The Big Bear City Fire Department reports that these instances included one bee sting and two cases of heat exhaustion, resulting in two transports to the hospital. The August 4 event also offered free children’s car seat inspections; six families took advantage of this opportunity and four families received free car seats. A limited number of car seats are still available to low-income families; for more information, call Tiffany Swantek of the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station at 866-0103.