IRCSO Explorers Post 556 is our very own local non-profit, volunteer youth law enforcement program. Be sure to listen to Chunky Chat Radio on December 26 at 3:30 on 107.9 FM (i-heart radio WAXE) when we will have some of them on the show to chat about what it takes to be an Explorer. Also learn more about them in the immediate previous post on this page from my ride along with Deputy Jonathan Lozada who was once an Explorer and now serves as a Mentor.
So, last night the Explorers came together with their families and IRCSO leadership to celebrate their accomplishments for the year and to have some holiday fun. I showed up in my favorite role of paparazzi. CAP's provided a hearty, delicious dinner, and Santa was even there to pose for professional photos by Detective David Rodriguez. (Detective Rodriguez really didn't want HIS picture taken, which I went ahead and did anyway, but I am posting it super small. Hee hee).
First, below is a slideshow of photos of all the fun. NOTE: If you are new to Chunky Chat - please know these slideshows are best viewed on a regular computer or tablet so that all the photos load. For example, there are 56 photos in this particular slideshow, and your phone won't see them all. OK, that said, please enjoy:
Next, Post Leader Deputy Rebecca Hurley took the podium to present the awards. She recognized and thanked her partner Deputy Harrington who could not be there that night because he was elsewhere coaching.
The first award was the GRAND CORDON. I am new to all of this, and I learned that this a MAJOR achievement. Even the name sounds impressive, right?! ALL of the members received it. After all, law enforcement is a team effort! Each Explorer was recognized one by one, and was given a framed, personalized award certificate along with a firm handshake by none other than Sheriff Deryl Loar himself!
Deputy Brian Aguiar read his original nomination for the GRAND CORDON from July 2014: "I would like to nominate the Indian River County Sheriff's Office Explorer's Post #556 for an appropriate award reflecting performance cited in the following narrative: Indian River County Sheriff's Office Explorer's Post #556 participated in the Shooting Industry Masters Challenge as support personnel from Thursday July 17, 2014 through Saturday July 19 2014. They worked closely with event staff, range safety officers and agency members. Post members worked tirelessly in exhaustive heat to ensure a memorable event for all. Duties to include, but not limited to, were: parking, score keeping, weapons maintenance, ammunition loading and water distribution. Several attendees complimented the professional attitude displayed by post members. The efforts and exemplary performance given by the post members contributed greatly to the success of the event. The post members' performance reflect great credit to Post #556 and the Indian River County Sheriff's Office. It is an honor and privilege to submit this nomination."
Here is a slideshow of 24 photos of each member receiving his/her award from Sheriff Loar (sorry some are out of focus!):
Next Awards were given to members completing 1) 60 hours of Law Enforcement Training (Post Captain Jared Browne, Cole Armstrong, Post Sgt. Andrew Dissis, Joseph McIntyre, Carlos Calvet, Hunter Brown and Landell Brown); 2) 100 hours of Community Service (Post Captain Jared Browne, Cole Armstrong, Post Sgt. Andrew Dissis, Joseph McIntyre, Carlos Calvet, Hunter Brown, Landell Brown, Calvin Bethel and Darlyn Rubi); and 3) 1 year of Tenure to the Post (Post Captain Jared Browne, Cole Armstrong, Post Sgt. Andrew Dissis, Joseph McIntyre, Carlos Calvet, Hunter Brown, Landell Brown, Calvin Bethel, Hunter Evans, Dallas Huff, Wilberth Martinez, Zak McGriff, Brandon Rogers, Darlyn Rubi, Roberto Ruiz, Jacob Ursin, Samantha Cruz and Mitchell Morris). Here are some of those photos (sadly I didn't get everyone!).
Deputy Hurley's final award was for EXPLORER OF THE YEAR! Wooo-hoooooo! The recipient is chosen based on dependability, attitude, attendance and contributions to the post, department and community. The 2014 Explorer of the Year is........... Drumroll please.................... Post Captain JARED BROWNE! Personally, I couldn't believe it because just two days before I first met him and his father in 7-11 when they said hello, thinking I was someone else. It was only a brief encounter, but I remember thinking 'what a polite, kind, fine young man and role model type!'
Sheriff Loar thanked Tim and Anna Burklew of 'Golf Carts of Vero Beach' who were in attendance. They made it possible for the Explorers to have a brand new golf cart which enables them to accomplish many of their duties.
Lastly, Sheriff Loar presented Deputy Hurley with a special recognition for her tireless support of IRCSO Explorers Post 556.
Also what would a party be without raffle prizes! Here are a few of the winners:
Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, the Explorers received handsome jackets from Santa:
Congratulations Explorers and thank you for letting me be part of your special evening! Next up for me and Chunky Chat: I will be spending time at the Jail with Major Selby Strickland, and also doing an evening ride along with Deputy Jonathan Lozada. I look forward to sharing the adventure with you right here! Thanks for reading.
I am an official, fully vetted volunteer with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office (Citizen's Academy, background checks, fingerprinted, etc.). Since my expertise is photo-journalism, producing these stories is one way I give back to my community.
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