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The Hanford Police Department Explorers youth group won first place at the Central Coast Law Enforcement Explorer Competition – its 12th win overall.

The Hanford group competed against 26 other Explorer teams from California and Nevada. The teams competed in a number of scenarios including traffic accidents, domestic violence, DUI, building search, crime scene investigation, felony traffic stop and oral and written tests.

The Explorers also participated in physical fitness competitions such as tug-of-war and obstacle courses. The competition was held Nov. 11-13 at the Kings County Fairgrounds in Hanford.

“The kids put a lot of time and effort into it,” said Sgt. Albert Cano, an adviser for the Hanford team. “It was a good experience.”

The Hanford team took home a total of 13 trophies. Explorers Andrew Rico and Nicholas Trahan were awarded $3,500 in scholarships and laptop computers.

In April, the Hanford team took first place at the Central Valley Law Enforcement Competition in Porterville and took first place at the 2016 Central Valley Explorer Competition this past summer in Tracy.

“The goal isn’t to get first place,” Cano said. “The goal is to do the best we can.”

Explorers with the Kings County Sheriff’s Office and Lemoore and Corcoran police departments also took home trophies from this month’s competition.

Lemoore Police Department Explorers won fourth place in tug-of-war and fifth place in the female advisory obstacle course. Explorer Casey Stidham was awarded a third place scholarship, which included $1,000 and a laptop computer.

Lemoore Police Department Cmdr. Maggie Ochoa said the Explorers will be recognized at the next Lemoore City Council meeting on Dec. 6.

The Corcoran Police Department Explorer Program took fifth place in the five-person tug-of-war and fifth place in the crime scene investigation scenario. Daniel McAlister won a fourth-place trophy for the Explorer advisory obstacle course.

The Kings County Sheriff’s Office Explorers took fifth place overall, including six different individual trophies at the competition.

“It was a good event,” said Chief Civil Deputy Lydia Montoya, the Explorer program coordinator.

Cano said the competition is a place where the Explorers are tested on their skills and abilities.

“Everything that they are being tested on is stuff that they will actually do when they become officers…,” he said.

Cano said Explorers also learn life skills and public speaking and take part in community service.

This reporter can be reached at csandoval@hanfordsentinel.com or 583-2422. 

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