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Explorers prove themselves up to the Challenge

Those in the photo are front row, left to right. Brandon Pengelley,

On April 27, nine local Explorers attended Challenge 2013 at Heritage High School in Brentwood. Five male and four female Law Enforcement Explorers, or cadets, traveled to compete in nine police competition subjects along with some individual subjects.

The event lasted the whole day with the scenarios geared toward school-related incidents. Brentwood police and Livermore police sponsored the event and created some very challenging scenarios.

“Even after my 30 years in law enforcement, what I saw was challenging to even the most experienced officer,” said Rob Davenport, advisor for the Explorer program.



Law Enforcement Exploring is a career-oriented program for local high school youth. The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office sponsors Post 244, which is supervised by Davenport, a retired deputy.

The department has had the program since about 1975 and it is still going strong.




Membership is for those age 14 to 19 who have an interest in police work or in being part of a great group of young people, Davenport said. Many former explorers currently work for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, the Grass Valley Police Department and the local California Highway Patrol office. Several have recently been promoted to supervisor in the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

The police events were active shooter, high-risk traffic stops, traffic stops, traffic accident, suspicious person contact, first aid response, hostage negotiations, domestic violence intervention and burglary in progress. Each scenario lasted about 20 minutes with realistic role players.

A team comprised of Hannah Muzio of Bear River High School and Brandon Pengelley of Nevada Union High School was successful in the domestic violence intervention competition and was awarded third place out of 15 other teams competing from the Northern California area.

Pengelley competed in the police bicycle agility course and was awarded first place in that competition.

The competitors from Nevada Union were Gabriella Carey, Anthony Hurst, Pengelley, Nathan Stearns and Conner Olsen. Rachelle Davenport and Muzio attend Bear River, and Ian Osborn attends Bitney Springs Prep. Kaylee Smith attends Sierra College and is majoring in corrections.

Last year, the program sent four explorers to a similar competition in Chico. At that event, two members earned first place in pistol shooting and second place in a police written exam.

Local youth interested in joining the program can contact the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office at 530-265-1471 and leave a message for Davenport, or you can contact him at post244@suddenlink.net.


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