East Providence Police Youth Explorers graduate academy


NARRAGANSETT — Five East Providence Police Explorers recently graduated the Annual week-long Rhode Island Law Enforcement Explorer Academy at Camp Varnum in Narragansett, June 28.

EPPD Sergeant David Pacheco, who spent the week supervising the explorers along with other officers form around the state during the training academy that is run on a 24-hour basis, said: “I am extremely proud of the five Explorers. Each one demonstrated will power, determination, dedication to duty, and a drive to complete the grueling academy."

The academy day, for young and aspiring members of law enforcement, started at 5 a.m. with Physical Training lead by Sgt. Pacheco. The Explorers then attend classes and training during the remainder of the day with a fire watch/mock patrol scenario ending at around 11 p.m.

When commencement rolled around, police officials, proud parents, and their family members arrived at the Rhode Island National Guard’s installation for the academy’s graduation. Sgt. Pacheco led the Explorers marching down the road towards the awaiting crowd. Each Explorer in their dress uniform moved as one unit following each and every command given. They moved past Lieutenant Pat McMahon of the Charlestown Police Department. Lt. McMahon served as Director of the Academy and began the graduation with his opening remarks. “On Sunday, we started off with 45 Explorers, Due to several injuries and illnesses, today we will be graduating 41 Explorers.”

The Explorers learned from law enforcement officials who currently train active duty officers, including Officer Jamie Aceto of the East Providence Police Department, who trained the Explorers in the use of the police baton. Officer Aceto then ran the Explorers through a course designed to test their skill with the baton as well as stress physical fitness.

One of the week’s most challenging moments came during a rainstorm that forced 15,000 people who were watching soccer matches at the University of Rhode Island to take cover. The Explorers were there assisting URI Police with crowd and traffic control as they do every academy.

“The Explorers encountered a nice sunny afternoon that turned into a torrential downpour,” Lt. McMahon explained. “These Explorers immediately moved into position to assist spectators down the wet stairs and helped with crowd control. Each Explorer stood by their posts, through the rain and drenched to the bone, yet ready to assist in any way possible.”

Lt. McMahon, who was assisted by attending officers during the week, added: “While we tried our best to make sure each of them enjoyed their week here with our academy staff, we also tried our best to instill in each Explorer team work, commitment, respect, dedication, compassion and safety. While discipline was certainly instilled, there were times when they also had just a small amount of fun – a few hours at the beach and an impromptu push-up competition (won by Cadet Richie Mourato of the East Providence Program) just to get an extra chocolate chip cookie at lunch.”

The Explorers also enjoyed a bonfire by the waterfront, learned how to make banana s’mores, and even climbed the Army’s Rock Wall.

At the end East Providence Explorers Cadet Captain Mourato, Cadet Lieutenant Adam D'Ambra, Cadet Corporal Stephan Turner, Cadet Chase Allen and Cadet Joao Rego graduated.

Cadet Captain Mourato took home the male Physical Fitness award as well as the Leadership Award. Cadet Lt. D'Ambra was one of several explorers who received the Drill and Ceremony award. Cadet LT. D'Ambra was not only a member of that team that received the award by called cadence during the competition.

If you would like more information about the Explorer Program you can visit the Explorer Facebook page East Providence Police Explorer Post 750.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.