Multimedia Journalist

Program gets Moniteau County youth involved with law enforcement

A new program will allow Moniteau County youth to build relationships with law enforcement and potentially spark an interest in a career.

The Moniteau County Law Enforcement Explorer Program will be offered to people ages 14-20 in combination with California Police Department, Tipton Police Department and the Moniteau County Sheriff’s Office.

Detective Tyler Zumwalt said the opportunity will reach beyond area schools and include hands-on experiences.

“It’s not just about writing tickets and stopping cars all day,” Zumwalt said. “There are so many things that people don’t know about what comes with being a law enforcement officer.”

Zumwalt, Lt. Skyler Viebrock and office secretary Janis Wise have been visiting with students at area schools and trying to get the word out.

The program is open to all youth who fit the age requirement and have completed eighth grade, have no felony or misdemeanor arrest and meet other requirements.

The program is scheduled to begin this fall and end in late spring 2020. Officials said most classes will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Moniteau County Sheriff’s Office.

However, the classes are not limited to the classroom.

Beyond traditionally known police duties, explorers will have lessons on firearm safety, evidence collection, criminal investigations and domestic violence. Information on the medical and corrections sides of law enforcement, resume skills, and interviewing also will be provided.

“There’s so many different things I would say that the general public doesn’t necessarily know about right away,” Zumwalt said.

People who believe there are few jobs in law enforcement would be wrong, he added. He hopes judges, defense attorneys, emergency medical personnel and drug task force agents can be guest speakers and describe their roles as part of the program.

Zumwalt has been a law enforcement official for five years. He came on as detective with Moniteau County in January. He said he is passionate about adding educational opportunities to area youth.

“This program is going to get our youth, who may or may not be interested in law enforcement, to get to know a little bit more about behind the scenes and get to know the law enforcement officers who serve their community,” he said.

Going through the program, he said, will give youth a good understanding of the career and possibly lead them to the Law Enforcement Training Institute in Columbia or Missouri Sheriff’s Associate Academy in Jefferson City.

This also will give the department a sense of who is interested in pursuing a full-time career in Moniteau County.

For more information and to be added to the list of interested participants, call Zumwalt at 573-796-2525.

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