By Velda Hunter
Brazosport Facts (subscription), TX
January 29, 2006
LAKE JACKSON — With skill and precision, the young uniformed men and woman moved through the room searching for drugs, trying not to be distracted by the handcuffed, ranting woman laying face down on the floor.
Digging through a box of crayons, underneath cleaning bottles and cabinets for this skills test, the team of four Explorers from College Station searched every cranny for anything that appeared out of place after entering the room Saturday at Lake Jackson Intermediate School with plastic guns and flashlights in hand.
“You better watch yourself. You better watch your back,” the woman on the ground yelled.
But it didn’t distract the trained Sarah Mwarabu, a high school junior, from her task. Team members Jonathan White, Trae Williams and Travis Sullivan weren’t swayed either. The four are either pondering or pursuing law enforcement careers. Their performance during the scenario drew mostly compliments and little criticism from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent judging the category.
“This is the closest thing to the real thing,” said White, a college freshman who’s been an Explorer for more than six months. Within 30 minutes, the warrant that ushered them into the dim room with the loud television resulted in the arrest of a woman and the seizure of substances resembling cocaine and marijuana, including some found hidden underneath the top of a fish tank.
“There are so many little places where stuff can be hidden,” Williams said.
The team was one of about 30 Explorer posts that conducted drug raids, worked bomb and crime scenes, handled domestic disturbances and stopped drivers for misdemeanor and felony charges as part of a statewide competition hosted by Lake Jackson Police Explorer Post 390.
The Explorer program was developed through the Boy Scouts of America. Explorers are young men and women ages 14 to 21, who are interested in law enforcement. Taught certain aspects of law enforcement by police departments, the students participate in area competitions using the skills acquired.