Landis Explorers program
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó If Brandon Gray never leaves his hometown, that will be OK with him, as long as he can become a law enforcement officer.
Gray, 18, is one of nearly a dozen future law enforcement officers in the newly established Landis Explorers Post No. 2600 Program.
The South Rowan High School student hopes to work for a small-town agency and eventually for the State Bureau of Investigation.
“If I just stay here everything will be good,” Gray said Tuesday.
He also has looked up to firefighters and police officers, who he said “have been my heroes.”
He’d love someday to be the one someone else looks up to, he said, and to “make a difference in the community.”
The program began in October. It now has 10 members and is growing.
“There is already an increasing interest in the Explorers Program,” Landis Police Sgt. Ken Honeycutt said.
Honeycutt worked with a group of Explorers on Tuesday on law enforcement 10-codes. The explorers undergo an abbreviated basic law enforcement training school ó a crash course of sorts. The object is to get them ready, in part, for what they’ll face when they receive full law enforcement training.
The program is endorsed by Landis Police Chief Reggie Faggart, who was at the Tuesday training session along with Alderman Roger Safrit ó whose son, Shane, was in an Explorer Program ó program adviser Tina Leben and South Rowan High Principal Judd Starling.
Starling said the program gives students career opportunities and is a fun outlet.
“It’s a good program. It’s a great thing for the kids,” he said.
In the future, Explorers will learn how to fire a pistol at the shooting range and about forensics and evidence collection, Honeycutt said.
South Rowan freshman Ashley Eudy, 16, hopes to be a crime scene investigator. Her fascination grew from watching forensic and crime television shows.
“I want to help people,” said Eudy, of Kannapolis.
Clayton Johnson, 18, of Enochville, is the program’s deputy chief and helped recruit many of its members.
Johnson hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, retired Charlotte Police Officer T.C. Johnson.
“It’s in my blood,” he said.
Being part of the program has really made Johnson want to become an officer. He said, though, that the program isn’t just for future law enforcement officers, but for anyone who just wants to know more about law enforcement.
Also participating in the program are Ronald Sloop, Mary Yang, Heather Bailey, Dillon Wright, Matthew Johnson and Jessica Davis.
In a year, Honeycutt expects the program to grow. He said as long as there is funding, the program will continue.
Several businesses contributed financially to the program to provide uniforms and materials. They include Hilbish Motor Co., Sonic Drive-In, Quality Clothing, Porky’s BBQ, Gary’s Barbecue and Pinnacle Corrugated.
For more information about the Landis Explorers Post No. 2600, visit the program’s MySpace page via LandisExplorer2600@hotmail.com or contact Honeycutt at the Landis Police Department, 704-857-2129, or during school hours at South Rowan High, 704-857-1161 extension 261.