WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s Selectmen’s Meeting, Wilmington Police Officers Dan Furbush and Michael Cabral, along with Chief Joe Desmond, received praise from the board for the department’s recent launch of its “Police Explorers” Program.
“We’re bringing in kids — ages 14 to 21 — to the police department,” explained co-organizer Dan Furbush. “We have meetings two times a month, from October through June… The first meeting of the month is classroom-style and features speakers from different agencies… The second meeting of the month focuses on Physical Education with outdoor demonstrations (e.g., building searches, motor vehicle stops, community policing). During the summer, we hope to have them join the department and assist with Fun on the Fourth, National Night Out, and a community project.”
“[Police Explorers] is almost like a junior cadet program… It’s similar to the Citizens Police Academy, but geared towards the town’s juveniles,” explained Furbush. “Without the support of the community, it’s hard to do what we do. It’s a very hard and stressful job. It’s important to have the community backing. The best way to do that is to get the community involved.”
“Wilmington is kind of a pioneer. There’s not a lot of towns around here that currently have a [Police Explorers]-type program,” Furbush added. “Wilmington Police had a Police Explorers program back in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a great program and very popular with the kids… Police Explorers is now very popular on the West Coast and slowly making its way back to the East Coast”
The program already has 21 teens enrolled. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Furbush and Cabral at email@example.com. Additional information and applications can be found on the program’s website and Facebook page.
Furbush thanked Police Chief Joe Desmond, the Town Manager, the Selectmen, and the School Department for their support of the program.
Town Manager & Selectmen Respond
“In the environment that we’re in, unfortunately, the police across the country are under incredible scrutiny and, in many cases, don’t enjoy the same level of trust that perhaps they did in generations past,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull. “I think this effort, among others, is a way to restore – and, in Wilmington’ case, retain – that level of trust while integrating into the community…. I want to compliment both officers for taking this on, and the chief for assisting and guiding the process.”
“It seems like it’s a difficult time in our country to be a police officer. Your department, Chief, has great respect in this community. Some of the things we see on TV are not the case here, and because of officers like you who take on projects like this, our community has such a great relationship with our police department,” said Selectmen Chair Greg Bendel. “I appreciate you taking this on. It’s another fine example of going above and beyond the call of duty. I think a lot of kids will benefit from the program and ultimately the entire community will benefit from it.”
“I’m impressed the program already has 21 kids,” added Selectman Kevin Caira. “This is a great opportunity for the young folks in town to get involved and learn about policing and criminal justice.”
“It’s a wonderful program and you’re really reaching out to the youth of the community,” echoed Selectman Mike McCoy.
“I applaud the initiative to strengthen the partnership between the police department and the community,” noted Selectman Jonathan Eaton. “You’re showing that the Police Department is a trustworthy resource and, for some, a possible career path. Job well done. Keep up the good work.”
“I know some of the kids in the program. They’re really good kids. I love the fact that you’re giving them this opportunity to learn about law enforcement as a possible career path,” added Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony. “Let us know what we can do to help build and support the program.”
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