The Crescent City Police Department honored its Police Explorers during its inaugural awards ceremony on Monday evening.
The night showcased the first presentation made by the Explorer Color Guard, lauded the youths for their efforts and gave an opportunity for them to feel appreciated for their productivity.
"This program isn't about reform or correcting bad behavior. It isn't probation, and it's not designed to make bad people into good people," said Police Sgt. Erik Apperson, who heads the Explorer program.
"This is the sort of outlet that gives good kidssomething to do with their time. This program keeps good kids good kids."
There were 21 volunteers who received several different types of awards including recognition for law enforcement training, community service, law enforcement service, emergency preparedness and tenure.
Explorer Sgt. Alexander Fallman received five awards. The 16-year-old has been in the program since eight months ago when Apperson tapped his shoulder, saying he'd be a good fit for the program.
"I had an opportunity to give it a try, and I've been in it ever since," said Fallman. "I like helping the community with the events that we do."
"It's a great program, and it's run by great people," said Fallman.
Local residents Nate Trimm, Elizabeth Mitchell and Robyn Patch are also heavily involved with helping the program run.
Police Chief Doug Plack delivered a speech as well and Mayor Kathryn Murray handed out certificates of recognition from the City Council.
The Explorer program is an offshoot of the Boy Scouts of America that gives teens an opportunity to experience what the law enforcement field has to offer. They often dedicate their time in helping with giving direction during large community events, including parades and the Fourth of July.
Reach Anthony Skeens at firstname.lastname@example.org.