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Lamar Easing Water Restrictions, Police Reestablishing Explorer Post

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The Lamar City Council voted to move from mandatory Stage 2 water restrictions, in effect for the past several years, to mandatory Stage 1. The recommendation, according to City Administrator, John Sutherland, is the increased availability of water due to the lessening of the drought in southeast Colorado, as well as the new fee rate structure for municipal water use.

Mandatory Stage 1 water restrictions allow users to water any day of the week except Friday but still curtail watering between 10am and 6pm, a period when evaporation is at the highest due to summer temperatures. The Stage 2 restrictions divided the City of Lamar into two halves with residents to the east and west of Highway 287 watering their lawns on alternating days of the week with Friday still prohibited.  Following the Monday, April 25th vote, the restrictions were automatically adjusted. The council can revert to Stage 2 again, pending water availability through the summer.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller and Officer Steve Sanger, addressed the Lamar City Council on their plan to reestablish the Explorer Post which was discontinued in 2000. Miller said Sanger had prior experience with the former post and brought up the idea of developing it again for area youth.  “This opens the door for them to become more involved with law enforcement in later life,” Miller explained, adding, “they could become members of the police department and train with us or do ride-alongs with us.  This would be for an older group, 14-21 years.”  Once they turn 21, they’d be eligible to go to the police academy if they wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement.  Miller said the memorandum of understanding would begin the initial process and after that, a committee of adult advisors would be formed who, after passing a background check, would guide the Explorer members in training sessions.

Sanger told the council that because of the affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, the initial cost of program membership in the BSA is $40 and the cost per committee person and cadet is $25 a year, mostly to cover insurance premiums. Other expenses would be for uniforms issued by the city, so it remains municipal property once a cadet has left the program.  Miller said that females are also encouraged to take part as cadets and there is no limit to the number of cadets that can join.  Sanger explained that the program isn’t limited to just law enforcement training, “I’ve spoken with Fire Chief Burkhart about training programs and he’s interested in helping any kids interested in fire service and I’ve spoken with Stephan Warn with Emergency Management and he would be interested in helping us with the Incident Command System, teaching cadets how to operate under incident command for emergency response.  We’d also offer training in search and rescue as that’s what I did in my former agency.”  He added that once a cadet turns 18 they can become a BLM Wildland Firefighter anywhere in the U.S.

Miller said only five or six kids are interested right now, but he expects more following publicity for the program filtering through the community. The chief said he wasn’t sure how long before the program starts, “Maybe a couple of months as we first need to get the committee recognized and trained and we can go from there.”  Sanger said the cadets would have their own rank and file command structure including a captain, sergeant staff and treasurer which allows them to maintain meeting minutes, financial records and develop leadership skills.  Chief Miller added that he’d like to see people with various backgrounds apply for the committee so they don’t just have law enforcement or fire department experience.  Interested cadets or committee members should contact the Lamar Police Department at 719-336-4341.

By Russ Baldwin

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Filed Under: City of LamarEducationFeaturedLaw EnforcementPolice ReportPublic SafetySchoolYouth

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