23ABC Community Connection


Kern County Sheriff's Office Explorer program holding recruiting event

Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 13:52:47-05

If you or someone you know has an interest in law enforcement but isn't sure if it's the right career for them, the Kern County Sheriff's Office Explorer Program is the opportunity to see what being in law enforcement is all about.

For Jesus Fuentes Ortega, joining the Explorer program three years ago gave him confidence in his career decision.

"I've noticed law enforcement is something I really want to do I can't wait till I join the force," said Ortega. "I've learned leadership skills, teamwork, especially since we all come from different backgrounds, and working well with others."

In his three years, Oretaga has seen peers in the program go on to be KCSO deputies and now, in his last year of the program, he plans to do the same. But before applying for the police academy, the Explorer Program gives prospects a glimpse at what it takes to wear the uniform.

"Off the top of my head, we've had a handful from the Explorer program go into law enforcement," explained Sgt. Bittle, the KCSO Explorer Co-ordinator. "If they do choose a career in law enforcement, the police academy is physically demanding and they need to be ready for something like that and it's our goal to teach them to be ready for that."

Similar to the hiring process, the Explorer recruiting and testing event will include a writing and agility test.

"The Explorer program is designed for young adults ages 15 to 20 to give them an idea of what law enforcement is all about to see if its what they want to do," said Bittle.

And for Explorers like Ortega, he's used his time in the program to develop his skills and even come up with his own deputy philosophy.

"I grew up on the east side I like to see a lot of community events. As an Explorer, I do that and as a deputy, I'd like to continue that."

Wednesday's recruiting event will take place at the KCSO Headquarters on Norris Road from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.