The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is implementing a law enforcement Explorer program to provide a positive outlet for young men and women interested in a law enforcement career.

“This program provides an opportunity to experience law enforcement from a hands-on approach and affords deputies a chance to interact with young men and women in our county,” said sheriff’s deputy Nathan Bickerstaff, who handles community relations for the agency. “Explorers participate and receive training in all aspects of operations within the sheriff’s office.”

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Explorer Program has created new inroads of understanding between youth, law enforcement and the community, he said.

“Deputy Explorers are not just talkers. They receive extensive training and then actively participate in community affairs and non-hazardous law enforcement activities,” Bickerstaff said.

What is Law Enforcement Exploring?

The law enforcement Explorer program is a sheriff’s office youth-oriented program. It is affiliated with the special interest phase of the Boy Scouts of America. Its primary purpose is to provide, through actual experience, a means by which young men and women may determine if they would like to pursue a career in law enforcement. The program also provides the sheriff’s office with additional human resources and it opens an important avenue of understanding with an energetic, concerned society of young people.

Who are we seeking?

To qualify for the position of deputy Explorer, you must have at least a C average in high school, be between the ages of 15 and 21 years of age and be of good moral character without any serious arrest record. Deputy Explorers must meet the same basic physical requirements. The next step in the selection process involves a passing grade on an oral interview.

How and Where

Do I Join?

If you decide you want to become a deputy Explorer and you feel that you meet the minimum qualifications, contact the Bickerstaff at or 972 921-4400.

For more information about Exploring programs, contact the Learning for Life Office, Circle Ten Council BSA, Kimberly Wright, Exploring district director.



A number of scholarships and awards are offered to law enforcement Explorers.

•Capt. James J. Regan Scholarship

The National Technical Investigators Association presents two one-time $500 scholarships annually. Criteria include academic record, leadership, extracurricular activities and a personal statement.

•Sheryl A. Horak Memorial Scholarship

This merit-based award involves a $1,000, one-time scholarship. The award also includes a plaque and pin.

•Law Enforcement Exploring Community Crime Prevention Award

The International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners provides an annual recognition of Explorer posts that exhibit outstanding support of their communities. Includes a plaque and pin.

•DEA Drug Abuse Prevention Service Award

The DEA Drug Abuse Prevention Service Award consists of an engraved plaque and a $1,000 award, which will be presented in recognition of an act or actions representing a contribution of outstanding service in drug abuse prevention.

•Federal Criminal Investigators’ Service Award

Federal Criminal Investigators Association recognizes Explorers who render outstanding service to law enforcement agencies with a $500 U.S. Savings bond and plaque.

•Law Enforcement Exploring Proficiency Awards

The Law Enforcement Exploring Proficiency Awards program provides an opportunity for posts and their Explorers to earn a series of recognition items that acknowledge their law enforcement Exploring experience.

•Career Achievement Award for Law Enforcement Explorers