City of Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, Washington, Whidbey Island's Premier Waterfront Community

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865 SE Barrington Drive
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Phone: 360-279-4500
Fax: 360-279-4507

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Police Explorer Program


The purpose of the Law Enforcement Exploring is to give young people ages fourteen through twenty a chance to learn about Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice system. It is an opportunity for them to see if the field is a possible career for them, and an opportunity to fulfill community service requirements for Oak Harbor High school graduation. Exploring is a way to learn leadership skills and responsibilities and have an opportunity to apply for College scholarships on a local, state and national level to those Explorer Cadets interested in the Law Enforcement field.

Sponsored through the Mount Baker Chapter of the Boy Scouts, the Oak Harbor Police Department Explorer Post has been active since 1991. Officer Niiro has been the Post Advisor since 1993. Some of our Explorers have moved into law enforcement in various capacities - from Reserve Officer, Dispatcher, Correction Officer, to full-time sworn Police Officer, at this Department and others. Others have gone on to the military and other fields. 

Explorer Cadets in the Oak Harbor Post, learn about the organization of the Police Department and are shown each employee's duties and responsibilities. They learn about Washington State Criminal Law, Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure and other relevant areas during a mandatory Academy held at the Police Department. Subject areas are taught by veteran members of the Oak Harbor Police Department and the Academy concludes with a mandatory-pass, comprehensive written exam and a practical exam called “Mock Scenes”. Mock Scenes are a series of staged scenes were the Explorer gets the opportunity to play a real police officer in a variety of situations. After passing the Academy, the Explorer is then allowed to ride along with Officers or have the opportunity to work in Records, Reception, Dispatch, or Evidence as they go about their duties, day or night.

Activities and hours put in by the Explorer Post include hours spent in Patrol ride-along’s, community service activities such as Children’s Day, National Night Out, Military Appreciation Day, Elks Veteran’s Day Dinner and the Holland Happening and Fourth of July parades.

The Explorers also compete in the annual Federal Way Challenge as part of the Island County Explorer team. The Challenge is a two-day tactical event with Explorer Posts from around the state competing.

The Post also has two civilian volunteers who serve on the Post Advisory Committee, one Officer (serving as Post Advisor) and Police Chief Wallace (serving as Executive Officer).


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