In 2003 the Post realized that there was a greater need to provide basic
law enforcement training to Explorer Recruits.     

Officer Chris Amsler developed the first Explorer Academy for the Post
using the basic standards established by the Colorado POST board for
Reserve Police Officer Training Academies.  He modeled the training
style and operations of the academy from those used by the Colorado
State Patrol Academy
, Aurora Police Department Academy and
Colorado Springs Police Department Explorer Academy.   His goal was
to provide the new Explorer Recruit with basic knowledge of Police
Operations, Explorer Post Operations, and to instil discipline and team
work.

In 2004 the first class of the Aurora Police Department Explorer
Academy (Class 04-1) was held.  The class was a huge success with
providing the department with a well trained Police Explorer.  Other
agencies in Colorado have started similar academies modeled off our
academy program.
The Explorer Academy is a 12 week program (112 hours) .   It  is held once a year and typically
starts in January and ends in May.  Classes are held every Saturday from 9:00AM to 6:00PM
with one night time class.  Classes are conducted at the Aurora Police Training Academy.   

Explorer Recruits receive classroom training as well as  practical skills training.  In order to
pass the Explorer Academy the Explorer Recruits must pass an extensive written final exam
and also pass a series of mock calls to demonstrate their proficiency in the "hands on"
training that they have received.  Below is the required curriculum for the Explorer Academy:
Introduction to the Aurora Police Department
Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
Introduction to Military Drill/Military Bearing
Explorer Post Standard Operating Procedures
Introduction to Physical Fitness
Physical Fitness Training and Testing
Constitutional Law
Arrest Search and Seizure
Aurora City Geography
Ethics
Officer Safety
Introduction to Patrol Procedures
Use of Force
Firearms Safety
CPR and Basic First Aid
Police Radio Communications
Report Writing
Arrest Control Training
Colorado Revised Statutes
Colorado Traffic Law
Aurora Criminal Code
Introduction to Criminal Investigations
Introduction to Community Police
Gang Intervention
Domestic Violence Intervention
Crime Scene Investigations
Traffic Accident Investigations
DUI Investigations and Enforcement
Team Building Exercises
Major Crimes/Homicide Investigations
Narcotics Identification
Explorer Post Reports and Forms
Building Searches
Pedestrian Contacts
Low Risk Vehicle Contacts
High Risk Vehicle Contacts
Traffic Direction
Use of the Police Canine
Introduction to SWAT
Provide the best training possible,  to instill teamwork, discipline and the core values of the
Aurora Police Department.

To accomplish this the Explorer Academy has adopted the use of military bearing, military drill
and physical training.

Explorer Recruits are assigned to squads which are supervised by an Explorer Specialist.  
The Specialist serves as a drill instructor for the squad.   Through use of military bearing the
Explorer Recruits start the academy as  individuals but leave as a team, which is an important
part of police work.   

Police work is also a very physically demanding career so Physical training (PT) is part of the  
Explorer Academy.  There typically is some sort of PT given at every session of the Explorer
Academy from running to circuit training.  Minor violations of the Explorer Academy rules are
also dealt with by assigning PT, typically push-ups.  

At the start  and end of the Explorer Academy physical fitness testing is conducted.  The
Explorer Recruit must do as many push ups and sit ups they can do in a minute and  run a
mile and a half.  To successfully pass the physical fitness portion of the Explorer Academy the
Explorer Recruit must show improvement in all three of the test areas at the end of the
Academy.

One session of the Explorer Academy is a team building day.  The day is spent doing different
activities that require each of the squads to work together as a team.  One of the activities
assigned is the completion of the SWAT obstacle course.
The Academy Director is assisted with the day to day operation of the Explorer Academy by a
group of Police Explorers assigned to the Training Team.

The Supervisor of that team holds the rank of Explorer Specialist Sergeant and is assisted by
an Explorer Agent.  They supervise the activities of the Explorer Specialists.

Explorer Specialists are assigned a squad of recruits.  They are the first line supervisors for
that squad of Recruits and assist them with successfully completing the Explorer Academy.  

Specialists are the "drill instructors" of the academy and work on building team work and
discipline among the Explorer Recruits.  When the academy is not in session Specialists
work as the Post Recruiters and also can be assigned to supervise an Explorer who might
be having problems in the program or are in need of additional training.

Explorer Specialists are appointed by the Advisor staff.  Explorers who are appointed to the
position of Specialist have shown their dependability, responsibility, and leadership skills.  
They are the backbone of the Explorer Academy.