by Duncan Schiff
The Buffalo Police Explorer program, a police scout program created by Officer Joelle Bence, swore in its first 29 young officers-in-training at a ceremony at Canalside this week.
The program is open to people ages 14 to 20 who are interested in becoming police officers.
The program is similar to the Boy and Girl Scouts ethically with the “campers” learning to be good citizens. The Explorers have a bit more boot camp feeling while in the Scouts activities include whittling wood, earning badges, sitting around campfires and eat s’mores.
Ayan Hussan was inducted into the Explorers as part of the ceremony. A native of Kenya, she said she wants to use the experience to help her community in Buffalo and beyond.
“I want to be in law enforcement because I want to help people in my community, from my background and my culture, not only here but worldwide” Hussan said.
The explorers will have to be fit if they want to do their dream-job, sometimes having to chase suspects on foot, jump over fences, fire a fire-arm while running, and dodging bullets.
Hassan got emotional during the ceremony, saying that putting the uniform on brought her nearly to tears.
“I love the uniform, because I was about to cry and everything,” Hussan said. “This is a dream come true.”
Additional reporting by Maki Becker