Back row: Haley Head, Michelle Siple, Kyle Nannie, Caleb Deal, Cara Lowe, and Dominique Neal. Front row: Rachel Barkley, Kerri McQueen, and Matthew Perry. Contributed photo.
KINGSPORT — Members of the Kingsport Police Department’s Explorer program recently won multiple awards at Winterfest, a competition held every year in Gatlinburg.
Explorers are a branch of the Boy Scouts of America. KPD employees established Law Enforcement Explorer Post No. 185 in 1988, with the help of the Fraternal Order of Police, which provided sponsorship and funding.
During the weekend of Feb. 7-9, the Explorers participated in Winterfest, which is a competitive event and leadership training weekend. This year, more than 3,100 people participated, with 47 individual Explorer posts from across the Southeast being represented.
The awards won by the Explorer Post No. 185 members were first place in officer survival, second place in active shooter, fourth place in DUI traffic stop, fourth place in warrant service, fifth place in Class A uniform inspection and seventh place in burglary in progress.
The Explorer program enables area youth interested in law enforcement as a career to learn and experience many aspects of the profession by participating in education and recreational activities. It is open to both males and females of good character between the ages of 14 and 21.
Current Explorers are Caleb Deal, Michelle Siple, Rachel Barkley, Matthew Perry, Kyle Nannie, Kerri McQueen, Cara Lowe, Haley Head and Dominique Neal. Law enforcement advisers include Detective Justin McConnell, Officer Nathan Russell, Officer Brandon Ferrell and Detective Cpl. Martin Taylor, all of the KPD, and Probation and Parole Officer Laura McConnell of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
“The Kingsport Police Department is very proud of our Explorers and extremely pleased with their exceptional performance at this year’s Winterfest,” said KPD Public Information Officer, Tom Patton.
If you are interested in getting more information or joining the program, please contact Detective Justin McConnell at (423) 229-9355 or by email at JustinMcConnell@KingsportTN.gov.