Last week I talked to you about the Ellis County Youth Expo and the good kids who take part in the leadership-building 4-H and FFA programs around here. This week, I’m going to brag on some more good kids, your sheriff’s office Explorers.

Day in and day out, these Explorers make me proud to have them representing your sheriff’s office. Their most recent achievement is receiving the first place overall trophy at the Dallas Police Explorer Battle at Big D competition.

Each of our two teams participated in four scenarios where they demonstrated the skills they’ve learned as an Explorer. This year’s competition featured scenarios in active shooter, DWI, robbery in progress and domestic violence, and between our Green and Red teams, our Explorers were awarded three first place, two second place and one third place scenario trophies, with our Green team garnering the overall title out of the 24 teams that competed.

I’d like to personally thank the Dallas Police Department and its Explorers program, who’ve hosted this competition for three years now. It’s a lot of work to put on a meet like this and we appreciate the opportunity you’ve provided for Explorer teams from across the area to get together like this to put into practice what they’re learning during their weekly meetings.

Bottom line, while the accolades are nice, what pleases me the most are the life lessons our young people have the opportunity to learn through programs like the Explorers, 4-H and FFA. All of these kids are learning about teamwork, how to work hard and set goals, and how to overcome any challenges and obstacles that inevitably come their direction. They learn how to plan out what they’re going to do and how to make decisions. Especially with the Explorers, when they’re in these scenarios, those decisions may have to be made in a split second.

It’s their training that gets them through it and all of what they’ve learned along the way will stand them in good stead once they’re adults. For those who choose to go on into a law enforcement career, they’re a step ahead on the skills they’ll need.

More often than not people who are in law enforcement enjoy talking about their career, why they chose it, what it’s like on a day-to-day basis and would they do it again.

Those firsthand accounts can help a young person who’s thinking about it as a career choice decide whether or not he or she is interested enough to take that first step. Our Training Division deputies were on hand this past week during a Criminal Justice Day hosted by Waxahachie High School’s Criminal Justice Program. Along with other law enforcement, judicial system, fire and EMS, area college reps and others, they helped answer questions put their way about what it’s really like to put on a uniform and serve our community.

I know our deputies thoroughly enjoyed their time meeting with all of the young people who stopped by their table. I look forward to meeting our next generation of public servants myself.

For more information on your Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer program, you can email us at or call our advisors at 972-825-4934. If you’re a young man or woman age 14 to 20 who has an interest in law enforcement, we’d like to hear from you.

Please, everyone, let’s keep our military and service personnel in our thoughts and prayers. We enjoy our rights and freedoms because of their service and safekeeping of our great nation. Y’all have a Blessed Week.


Johnny Brown has served as Sheriff of Ellis County since Jan. 1, 2009, and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute. He has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.