Trust, confidence and teamwork were the values impressed upon members of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Explorers Post during a recent trip in Runway Bay, Texas.

 “We took a team of 10 explorers to a team-building camp where they learned rapelling and worked through several confidence-building courses. It was really good for them because they were away from the comforts of home,” post advisor and Lt. Matt Murrey said.

“Without Internet, TV, games or other modern marvels, they were not distracted and learned more about their teammates and themselves,” Murrey said. “I was most proud of our team for setting a good example by working as team with each other and with others.”

Explorers took part in a triathlon where they placed second and an obstacle course where they placed first. In both events, they competed against 11 other teams.

The Fort Worth Police Department’s special weapons and tactics team taught explorers different tactics used in apprehending dangerous people. Explorers also observed live demonstrations of SWAT pyrotechnical devices such as smoke grenades and flash-bangs. The explorers enjoyed swimming, canoeing and playing various sports in their down time.

The law enforcement explorer program introduces youth to the career of law enforcement, allowing them to learn about the role police officers play in the community. Explorers receive the same type of training officers receive and use that knowledge in realistic scenarios. The sheriff’s explorers also volunteer hundreds of hours to the county each month by serving in various roles at community events.

The team-building camp gave explorers from different posts an opportunity to work together in scenario training. The scenarios included a domestic disturbance and a building search where explorers found a mock clandestine drug lab.

Having the teams mixed with explorers from different posts provided a realistic situation when law enforcement officers arrive at the scene of a call, Murrey said.

“In law enforcement, we have standardized training. Even though we may not always know each other when we work with other agencies, we are able to work together thanks to our training,” he said. “They had to determine who was going to be a leader or a follower and work out the scenarios that they went through.”

Other posts in attendance included the Arlington, Irving, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Dallas police departments.

The explorers are training each week at the Ellis County Sub-courthouse, located at 701 S. I-35E in Waxahachie, for the upcoming competition season and for the 2012 National Explorer Conference that will take place in Fort Collins, Colo., in July.

For more information about the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring program, contact Murrey at 972-825-4946 or email For more information about the post, visit its website at

Contact Andrew at or 469-517-1451.