Police Explorers from across Orange County graduate from training academy

By Lou Ponsi and Behind the Badge staff

Several hundred people attended a recent graduation ceremony for the Class of 88 Explorers who completed a challenging five-day Explorer academy.

The ceremony, held at the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Center on Feb. 18, celebrated the 158 Explorers graduating from the Winter 2019 Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Graduation.

“One of the most rewarding things is that you see these kids on the first day, they’re a mess,” said Det. David Nguyen, Explorer advisor for the Tustin Police Department Explorer Post 615. “They don’t know their right foot from their left foot. Then you see them after five days, and they are a cohesive team, a well-oiled machine that is able to operate under stress and under adverse conditions.”

Westminster Police Explorer Giselle Paulin receives the first place plaque for the female category of the Notebook Drill during the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 Graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Anaheim Police Explorer Joshua Sotelo of the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 lines up with other Explorers for inspection at the start of graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Orange Police Explorer Luis Trujillo is congratulated as Platoon 9 is recognized during the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Explorers, including Anaheim Police Explorer Rafeal Marcelo, left, from Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88, line up for inspection at the start of graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Brandon Banderas stands for inspection by Undersheriff Bob Peterson during inspection at the start of Explorer Class of 88 graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Explorers from Platoon 7, including Anaheim Police Explorer Anthony Hernandez, center, are recognized during the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Clara Zarate is congratulated by instructors and command staff as she receives the Most Improved Explorer award during the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Explorers from Platoon 8, including Orange County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Jonathan Salazar, center, are recognized during the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Anaheim Police Explorer Joe Gonzalez receives first place in the Drill Down competition during the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Class of 88 graduation. Anaheim Police Explorer Angel Eriza is to the left of Gonzalez.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff’s Department Explorers gather with their instructors after graduation ceremonies for the Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy Graduation Class of 88.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Garden Grove Police Department Explorer Nicholas Poma was awarded third place in the Drill Down trials.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge