Young 'Police Explorers' help patrol malls

Young people train with police to explore career in law enfo­rcement

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Police Department's Police Explorers Program allows young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to explore a career in law enforcement through classes and some hands-on training.

"I've seen some of them become San Antonio police officers," said San Antonio police Patrolman Jesse Lopez. "So it's satisfaction for myself to know that I've had some influence."

Starting on Black Friday, the Police Explorers will be out patrolling at the Shops at La Cantera, Ingram Park, South Park and Rolling Oaks malls.

Lisanna Castillo, 15, has been with the program for over a year and said while patrolling, she is also keeping an eye out for shoppers.

"You notice how much people don't really pay attention when they are going to their cars," said Castillo. "They are not aware of their surroundings."

And aside from watching for suspicious activity, the explorers are checking parked cars for unlocked doors or for exposed valuables.

If they find the violations, they will leave warning cards instructing drivers what they can do next time to keep their cars and their valuables safe.

However, Lopez said Friday that the most important jobs for these cadet is to be a visible deterrent against crime.

"Our main thing is to try and make people feel as safe as possible out here," said Lopez.


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