In a press release, the office of City Council Member Ben Kallos describes the introduction of the program here as the result of a shooting on April 25 in Roosevelt Landings in which a 20-year-old was injured. [Another source says two were hit by the same bullet.]
“Stakeholders came together to find a safe and productive outlet for young Roosevelt Islanders,” reads the press release, saying the May 27 event is co-sponsored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, the NYPD’s 114th Precinct, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.
The press release describes Law Enforcement Explorers as “an educational program for New Yorkers ages 14-20 aimed toward community service and laying the groundwork for a career in law enforcement.” It will be one of 4,000 “posts” in New York City. The press release continues, “Students learn from the five experience areas: Life Skills, Service Learning, Character Education, Leadership Experience, and Career. Roosevelt Island youth will be transported to and from the 114th Precinct for the program, which will meet regularly. [A later communication from Kallos’ office said the meetings would be weekly.] There are also opportunities to apply for additional programming. Each Explorer program has an officer as an on-site post advisor... It only costs $24/year, which makes it a low-cost and effective way to prepare teenagers for college and career.”
There is some additional information online.
In the press release, the program’s advent here was hailed by the officials involved:
• Kallos: “Mentorship and training from NYPD Law Enforcement Explorers is our answer to recent gun violence on Roosevelt Island. We are providing youth ages 14 to 20 with programming that will set them on a path to free or low-cost college and a career. Answering violence with compassion will lift our community and our youth... Adolescence is often the most impressionable and transformative time in a person’s life... Law Enforcement Explorers teaches service, discipline, learning, and social engagement; [it] can make a huge difference at a critical moment.”
• RIOC President Charlene Indelicato: “The initiative will help facilitate a broader understanding of law enforcement services and will provide for opportunities for our Island youth to work closely with officers from our Public Safety Department and the NYPD. Participants will not only gain a working knowledge of law enforcement work, but will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of service and giving back to their community.”
• Captain Peter Fortune, Commanding Officer of the 114th Precinct: “Law Enforcement Explorers is one of the Department’s best community programs geared towards our youth. The program is geared for individuals aged 14-20 looking to pursue a career in law enforcement.”
• Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus: “During my tenure with the NYPD, I commanded three (3) Patrol Precincts, each of which had an Explorer Post, giving me an opportunity to see the benefits of Exploring first -hand. A sense of belonging, accomplishment, and good citizenship are a few of those benefits.”
• Erin Feely-Nahem, Chair of the Public Safety Committee of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association: “If [youth are] engaged in productive activities, with purposeful direction, there will be an improvement in the quality of life of all. We support this initiative.”