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Woodbury Police Explorers earn top ranks at state competition

Woodbury's Police Explorer team took home two first place honors at a state competition in Rochester April 30. Submitted photo.

The Woodbury Police Explorers earned top ranks in two categories at a statewide conference in Rochester the last week in April.

The program offers youths ages 14 to 21 hands-on opportunities to learn about what go into a law enforcement career, including arrest procedures, communication skills and laws.

Woodbury's 12-person team joined more than 800 other police explorers from across the state to test the skills they practices.

They placed first in an exercise simulating a domestic call and an academic portion dealing with laws of combat.

"The group we have now is a really fun group," said Woodbury Officer Garrett Kissner, who leads the city's program. "They're really motivated."

During the competition, each group is randomly assigned four categories. They then have 20 minutes to prepare for an exercise that lasts about a half-hour.

Kissner said the urgency offers a realistic glimpse at what a police officer's job is like.

A former Woodbury police explorer himself, Kissner said one of the most important skills he gained from the program was communication.

"Learning how to talk to people effectively was something that was huge for me to come across out of that," he said.

Although some Woodbury Explorers hope to pursue a law enforcement career, others simply enjoy the camaraderie and life skills the group offers.

"It's those type of skills our explorers are learning that, no matter if they decide to go into law enforcement, they're gaining these life skills to make decisions, learning how to communicate and work together as a team and how to power through things by themselves," he said.

More information about the Police Explorers program is available at discoverpolicing.org or by calling the Woodbury Police Department main office at 651-714-3600.

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