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“A lot of talent and a whole lot of skill,” said Sheriff Rex Coffey (D) of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office describing the achievements of 12 Explorers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Explorers Post 1658 who recently competed against more than 1,000 Explorers from across the country at the National Law Enforcement Explorers Conference Law Enforcement Challenge in Fort Collins, Colo.

The Explorers placed in the top 10 percent in four categories and won medals in two individual events.

Carly Ford, 17, a senior at North Point High School, won a medal after placing in the top 20 in the pistol marksmanship competition against 800 competitors, and Jania Osborne, 19, a freshman at the College of Southern Maryland, won a medal for placing second in the police physical performance exercise.

The teams were divided into three groups of four and each team was tested in three field scenarios randomly selected from 13 situations including an accident investigation, arrest and search, bomb threat, burglary in progress, domestic crisis intervention, officer down, emergency first aid, hostage negotiation, judgment pistol shooting, shoot/don’t shoot, non-emergency vehicle operations course, traffic stops and white-collar crimes. Individual events included air pistol marksmanship, bike policing, police physical performance and the 9mm pistol marksmanship competition.

Post 1658 received certificates for placing in the top 10 percent in the following events:

ŸTeam 1 Chris Chamblee, Rick Pickeral, Tiffany Butler and Jessica Sweeney won two certificates of award, one in an arrest and search event in which they received a perfect score and the other in a domestic crisis intervention.

ŸTeam 2 Jania Osborne, Brandi Thomas, Carly Ford and Steven Rands won a certificate for their handling of a bomb threat scenario.

ŸTeam 3 Brandon Morrison, Angela Campbell, Naja Butler and Katie Collins won a certificate for their handling of a burglary in progress event.

The National Law Enforcement Explorers Conference is conducted every other year and is attended by thousands of law enforcement Explorers and adult leaders. They get together for a week of team and individual competitions, seminars, demonstrations, exhibits, recreation and fun. Their skills are tested through competition-based individual and team events.

Guided by Cpl. Rhett Calloway, criminal justice Instructor at North Point and lead adviser of Post 1658, and associate advisors, William Donley, Al Davis, Reggie Forbes and Lori Calloway, the Explorers trained for nearly a year.

Every week, the team read case law, studied hundreds of training guides, practiced hands-on exercises and participated in strength and conditioning workout. “Our Explorers were dedicated to doing their best and ultimately, they represented Charles County well,” Calloway said.

In addition, the Explorers were responsible for raising money to attend the conference.

“So many people contributed to their fundraising efforts. The Charles County community came through for them,” Lori Calloway said.

“We learned so much about law enforcement and what it takes to be a police officer,” said Carly Ford. “I’m glad we had this experience, there is no doubt it will help me as I move forward in life.”

Law Enforcement Career Exploring is open to young men and women 14 years old and who have completed the eighth grade to 21 with an interest in learning more about careers in the field of law enforcement.