10/29/06 — Scouts get chance to try out jobs of law enforcement officers

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Scouts get chance to try out jobs of law enforcement officers

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 29, 2006 2:00 AM

Brian Newsome wants to be a patrolman.

And although he's only 17, he's already taken a couple of "ride-alongs" with Goldsboro police officers.

His first ride-along was on New Year's Eve. Alcohol was involved in a lot of the calls that night. On another occasion, he went on a domestic call and helped with an eviction.

But the task he enjoyed the most was a traffic stop.

"We did radar on Berkeley. We went on a side road. We clocked them, and another officer pulled out of a hide-away and stopped them," he said.

Newsome has been an Explorer Scout with the Goldsboro Police Depart-ment's Post 209 for three years.

The post is getting ready to begin its annual recruitment project to bring in new members. The drive started Saturday with a kickoff at Wayne Community College.

Explorer Justin Lewis, 15, has been a member of the post for the past year.

"It's real fun," he said.

He entered the post because law enforcement is a family affair at his house. Father Richard Lewis was a police sergeant before becoming an investigator for the District Attorney's office, where he works now. Justin's uncle, Eddie Lewis, is police chief for the town of Princeton.

Justin said he loves driving and the blue lights, and he believes he would enjoy law enforcement because "you never know what's going to happen."

He said his father wants him to go to work for the State Bureau of Investigation, but he would prefer to be "the guy that rides in the car."

Explorer Tyler McNeill, 20, is currenty attending the police academy.

"I got into it and rode one night during the midnight shift," he said. "I saw the blue light reflecting on the street sign on Slocumb Street just before Spruce, and it was love. Game over."

He has been to four national conferences and was one of four Explorers who competed in the 2006 National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference in July in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The conference featured competitions sponsored by the nation's top law enforcement organizations including the FBI, DEA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshall's Service, among others. The four-member team from Explorer Post 209 placed in the top 10 percent in the white collar crime division in 2004.

"We had an awesome team. We went in and got this guy away from his computer and stopped the lady from leaving. We conducted a search and seized evidence," McNeill said.

The competition included tracking a make-believe detained couple who were involved in a real estate land scam scheme. Explorers raided the operation during the simulation.

This year, they competed in the domestic crisis intervention and the bomb threat response events. McNeill said they didn't place this year, but they "did very well. The competition is very stiff."

McNeill will graduate from Basic Law Enforcement Training in December and then start applying for a job.

"And we'll see who snatches him up," said Sgt. Trey Ball of the Goldsboro Police Department, the local post adviser.

Ball has instilled in the Explorers his love for patrolling the streets. He used to be a detective with Goldsboro police, but said he prefers being in the middle of things.

"I like to be out of the building -- out and about," he said.

He has a special appreciation for the Explorer Scouts, since he came up through the ranks. He joined the post in 1990 and joined Goldsboro police six years later.

Ball said he encourages young men and women 14-20 years old to consider the scouting program, especially if they are interested in a career in law enforcement and criminal justice. He is also available to answer questions about the program, at 580-4274.