Police Explorers

The Menlo Park Police Explorer Volunteer Youth Program gives community members between the ages of 14-21 the chance to experience all that a career in law enforcement has to offer. 

The Explorer Program allows young adults to work alongside law enforcement personnel to gain life skills and develop personal responsibility though real life experiences. Traveling, becoming certified in first aid and CPR, conducting search and rescue missions, improving communication and public interactions while developing effective job interview and leadership skills are just a few of the once in a lifetime opportunities the Explorer Program provides. While Explorers often transition into life-long careers in law enforcement, even those who end up employed in other fields are able to apply the skills they developed during their time here as an Explorer.


Applicants will be required to:

  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • Complete and pass a background check; a record of criminal violations may be grounds for disqualification
  • Pass an oral board interview panel
  • Attend and successfully complete the Peninsula Law Enforcement Explorer Academy
  • Be of good moral character and demonstrate maturity, honesty and responsibility
  • Be willing and physically able to participate in most activities; people of all abilities are encouraged to apply
  • Volunteer at least 10 hours each month
  • Be between the ages of 14-21 years of age (applicants who are 13 years and six months old may begin the application process)
  • Though it is not mandatory, the program is designed to be a long-term volunteer opportunity, with most participants choosing to stay involved until they leave for college, apply to be a police officer or age out at 21 years old 
  • Police volunteers must maintain a clean background, consistently exercise good judgement and demonstrate good decision making skills

Experiences and activities

  • Ride-alongs with patrol officers
  • Sit-alongs with 9-1-1 dispatchers and detectives
  • Assist code enforcement and community service officers on calls for service
  • Learn how records specialists manage cases
  • Work special details such as parades, traffic control, community outreach events, foot patrol
  • Give back to the community by working with One Warm Coat, Toys for Tots, and Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Honor Guard detail for Explorer Academy graduation
  • Supervised firearms practice
  • Camping
  • Regional competitions
  • SF Fire Boat bay tour
  • Travel to National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference


Receive training on any of the following:

  • Police tactics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Search and rescue
  • Proper radio communication procedures
  • Arrests and use of force
  • Traffic stops
  • Building searches
  • K-9 demonstrations
  • Domestic violence
  • Hostage/Crisis negotiations
  • Report writing
  • Identity theft and fraud
  • Juvenile and criminal law fundamentals
  • Youth protection
  • Leadership skills
  • Job interview techniques
  • Firearms safety
  • Collision investigation
  • Crime prevention and safety
  • Missing person

To apply

Complete an explorer application and participation agreement and mail to:

Attn: Police Explorer Program
701 Laurel St.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Contact us

Victoria Trask-Mijangos
Community Safety Police Officer