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Turlock Explorers shine at annual Valley competition
Turlock Police Explorers
Six members of the Turlock Police Explorers program showcased their skills at the Central Valley Explorers Competition last week in Tracy (Photo courtesy of TPD).

Six individuals from the Turlock Police Explorers program traveled to Tracy on June 24 to participate in the 10th annual Central Valley Explorer Competition. The competition allows participating Explorer teams to highlight the training that they have received throughout the year as they run through a number of different response scenarios.

“The competition challenged the Explorers with real life situations and scenarios that police officers encounter on a daily basis,” explained TPD Sergeant Steve Crawford. “The Explorers receive on-going training as part of the Explorer program and the competition allowed them to put their training to the test.”

The six participants from the Turlock Explorers were Cadence Perry, Joshua Ottis, Austyn Tschantz, Marissa Guillen, Hayden Elliott and Nathaniel Koehn. As part of the competition, all six worked as a team in the active shooter scenario and received 2nd place out of 27 teams. Perry also received 3rd place overall for the individual obstacle course competition.

Perry has been an Explorer for four years in pursuit of her goal to become a K9 officer. She spoke about the valuable experience the competition offered to her and her peers.

“All of the different scenarios were very fun and informational,” Perry said. “This competition helps Explorers learn what it would be like when we are in these situations. It is overall a great learning experience because there are no other places people can go to experience these type of scenarios…  Honestly this whole experience made me want to be a police officer even more.”

Ottis, who has been an Explorer for two years, shared similar sentiments.

“It was a great learning experience because, after every scenario, we gathered with the instructors and they debriefed us, essentially telling us what we did well and what we needed to improve on,” Ottis explained. “We were put into very stressful situations and practice how we would handle them in real life. It was very physically demanding, especially the disturbance call where we had to ‘apprehend’ two very aggressive subjects.”

After the exceptional results, Crawford praised the preparation and effort from his team.

“I am extremely proud of the Explorers’ hard work in preparing for this competition and their performance in every scenario they encountered at the competition,” Crawford said. “I am also very thankful to the Explorer advisors who helped to prepare the Explorers for the competition and were with them at the event.”

Perry and Ottis strongly recommend that those interested in law enforcement and self-defense should get involved in their local Explorer programs. For more information on the Turlock Police Explorers, community members are encouraged to contact Sergeant Crawford at (209) 668-6503, or by e-mail at