Top explorers: Helena group wins national championship

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The City of Helena Police Explorers left for the National Law Enforcement Explorer Competition as champions, and they arrived home as champions.

For four consecutive years, the Helena Police Explorers have beat out all major U.S. cities such as New York City and Los Angeles and placed as champions in the national competition, held every two years. The Helena explorers competed in eight team competitions events and won more top five trophies than any other post in the nation. They placed second in Exploring U.S.A. Crime Prevention, second in domestic crime prevention, third in burglary in progress, fourth in hostage negotiation and sixth place in arrest and search.

In addition to winning the national championship, 17-year-old Helena Police Explorer Chief Cory Jackson was elected at National Youth Representative and President of Law Enforcement Exploring, a highly competitive position. &8220;There were two thousand applicants, and they picked three out of the nation.&8221; Throughout the competition, the three finalists gave speeches and campaigned only by word of mouth.

As the National Youth Representative, Jackson carries much responsibility representing 70,000 law enforcement explorers nationwide. &8220;I&8217;m basically the voice of all explorers. I&8217;ll go to meetings with directors of the federal agencies and we&8217;ll discus funding for the program, some of our goals and some of our new ideas.&8221; Federal law enforcement agencies he works with include the FBI, DEA, US Marshal&8217;s Service, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration, Department of Homeland Security.

Upon completing his two-year term as representative, Jackson will receive a full paid scholarship to Jefferson State Community College and employment with any federal law enforcement agency. He recently graduated from Calera High School has been involved with the Helena Police Explorers for four years. As Chief of Helena Police Explorers, Jackson commands a staff of six training advisors and16 explorers and has won 27 local, state, regional and national competition awards.

The competition also awarded Helena Explorer advisor Sgt. Mike Jones with the premier award for advisors, the National Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor of The Year Award. Other Explorer advisors around the country nominated Sgt. Jones for the award by writing a letter describing his dedication and volunteer efforts to the program. Sgt. Jones, a former Hoover Police Explorer, said, &8220;More than getting the award itself, it means a lot that other explorer advisors from across the nation think a lot of me, enough to write something nice about what our explorer program is doing.&8221;

Sgt. Jones works hard not only for the Helena Police Explorers, but has served in numerous Explorer leadership positions in and around Alabama. He&8217;s also helped develop new programs and establish community service projects nationwide.

Being not only national champions, but active community members has earned the Helena Police Explorers added friendship and recognition. Soon, the Explorers will star in a Milo&8217;s Memories commercial. Milo&8217;s is a favorite hang out for the Helena Police Explorers and over the years Sgt. Jones said they have formed a bond with the restaurant. &8220;Their proud of them and what they do and they know them by name. When they come in they treat them good and take care of them.&8221;