Explorer Programs

Law Enforcement Explorer Posts


What is the Explorer Program?
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post is a group of young men and women interested in exploring a career in law enforcement. Explorers get a combination of classroom trainings and hands on experience that teaches them about the rigorous and challenging field of law enforcement.  The contract cities of Sonoma and Windsor also maintain Law Enforcement Explorer Posts.


Exploring is a program sponsored by both the Sheriff’s Office and the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life Program. It is open to young men and women between the ages of 14 and 21, who have completed the 8th grade. Sheriff’s Explorers usually meet in the evenings on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Meetings are held at the Sheriff’s Office (located at 2796 Ventura Avenue in Santa Rosa) and at off site locations.  The Sonoma and Windsor Police Department Posts hold their meetings at their respective Police Departments.

Opportunities Offered
Explorers receive instruction in the following areas:

  • Laws of Arrest
  • Arrest Techniques
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Firearms
  • Crime Scene Management
  • Fingerprinting
  • Traffic Control
  • Using Two-Way Radios
  • Report Writing


Explorers are required to attend all regularly scheduled meetings. This may include assisting in Sheriff’s Office sponsored activities, community events and parades. Additionally, Explorers participate in the Office’s ride-along program.

Explorers take part in local and regional trainings and competitions with other explorer posts. Each Explorer is required to attend a one time, nine day Explorer Academy sponsored by the Sonoma County Explorer Advisors Association. This academy is held on Sundays at the Santa Rosa Junior College Public Safety Training Center in Windsor.


Applicants to the program must pass a mandatory background investigation.
Requirements for entry include:

  • Maintain a minimum ‘C’ grade average in school
  • Have a history of good conduct
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Have a history of good school attendance
  • No felony arrests
  • Good driving history if licensed
  • Fingerprinting


Applicants are not required to have any related experience prior to becoming an Explorer.
To join we need:

  • Completed application


Interested candidates are welcome to come to any of our meetings for more information. Parents are always welcome.


Commitment to the post and community are a fundamental value held by our Explorers. The work is rewarding and fun. Many Explorers have become fulltime law enforcement officers.


How to Join
For more information and an application contact Deputy Mike Peters  or Deputy Casey McLaughlin at 565-2650.  For the Sonoma Police Department Post contact Deputy Casey McLaughlin at 996-3602.  For the Windsor Police Department Post contact Deputy Chris Haas at 838-1234.

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