Academy Preview


The Explorer Training Academy at the Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Services (STARS) Center is the primary training site for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy Explorer program. Because of our excellent reputation, high standards and comprehensive curriculum, several local police departments choose to send their explorer recruits to our academy as well. This explorer academy is 18 weeks in length and covers a myriad of law enforcement related subjects.

In addition to several law enforcement training subjects, the explorer academy curriculum also includes subjects geared toward building the recruit’s self-esteem, character development, self-confidence and exposure to valuable life skills.

This website was specifically designed by Sergeant Roller and former LASD Explorer Brian Ho, in late 2010, at no expense to the Sheriff’s Department, to assist explorer academy recruits and enhance their individual effectiveness and organizational skills, while attending the STARS Explorer Training Academy. The website officially went on-line with the start of Explorer Academy Class 86 (February of 2011), and had over 100,000 viewings by January of 2013.

Inside, academy recruits will find important information and announcements, weekly assignments, study tips, physical training tips, uniform specifications and other tools that they can use. This site will also enhance the contents of the Recruit Training Manual that all recruits are issued.

Explorer Post Advisors can download all of the required academy registration forms by accessing the “Academy Forms Library” link on the right side of this page. All required forms are in a PDF format for their convenience. Explorer Post Advisors & parents can also monitor their recruits’ academic progress by accessing the “Recruit Progress Reports” link on the right side of this page.

The STARS Explorer Academy training staff is available on Saturdays to every recruit who is in need of assistance while attending the explorer training academy.


AcademicsAcademics are a major component of the explorer training academy at STARS. Each week, recruits are required to take a radio codes test and a spelling test. Additionally, recruits are required to take copious notes during all lectures and presentations, that have to be neatly re-written in an outline format and submitted weekly in a cumulative notebook. Each recruit is responsible for submitting a current event paper that covers any topic relating to law enforcement and a motivational “Word of the Week” definition each week. Each of these assignments are graded and count toward the recruit’s overall grade point average (GPA).

Using their weekly notebooks as a study guide, recruits are required to take a mid-term and a final written examination, covering the various lectures that they have received.

A minimum GPA of 70% must be achieved and maintained throughout the explorer academy training program.

Recruits are afforded the opportunity to make up tests that they miss, during their lunch period.

The training academy staff make themselves available to provide study and note taking tips to any recruit who is struggling with the academic portion of the academy program.

Recruits (Parents/Guardians/Post Advisors as well) are kept advised of their academic progress and grades by accessing the Recruit Progress Reports link on this website. Each recruit is assigned a randomly selected and confidential student identification number, which allows them to access their grade and assignment list, from any computer.

Physical TrainingPhysical Training consists of approximately 25% of the explorer academy curriculum. Physical training is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing childhood obesity.

All recruits are required to participate in physical training, unless an illness or injury prevents them from doing so. The physical training component consists of stretching (flexibility), running (endurance), calisthenics, weight training (strengthening), obstacle courses (coordination) and defensive tactics exercises (self-confidence).

All recruits are required to participate in a minimum of two (2) of the scheduled three (3) PT 500 tests. The tests are given during the third week, at midterms and during finals. Because each young adult comes to the explorer training academy with a variety of physical abilities, the PT 500 scores do not count as part of the overall grade point average (GPA). Rather, the staff monitors the test scores and looks for individual improvement from one test to the next. Recruits are weighed during the PT 500 tests, to monitor weight loss and assist in goal-setting.

Defensive TacticsDefensive Tactics builds self-confidence and compliments the physical training component of the explorer training academy. Recruits are taught basic punching, striking, kicking and basic ground fighting techniques.

Recruits are issued protective grappling gloves prior to defensive tactics training classes, and are supervised throughout the exercises to prevent injury and insure proper technique.

The training does not include impact weapons, such as batons, because explorers are not permitted to carry weapons, and therefore the training would be unrealistic for them. Rather, each recruit is taught how to protect themselves against attack from another person, by means of personal weapons (hands, feet, arms), confrontation avoidance and awareness of their surroundings.

The feedback from graduating recruits, going back to explorer academy class 80, when defensive tactics was added to the curriculum, has been extremely favorable.

Firearms Safety & FamiliarizationFirearms Safety & Familiarization training has been a component of the explorer training academy for several decades. Recruits receive a firearms safety and familiarization lecture from the weapons training staff at the Sheriff’s Department range. The recruits are then allowed to fire a Department issued handgun and shotgun.

Recruits generally fire four (4) rounds from a handgun and two (2) rounds from a shotgun, at a stationary paper target. A member of the weapons training staff is always in close and direct supervision of each recruit on the firing line.

Although encouraged to participate, no recruit is mandated to fire a gun during firearms training.

DrillDrill is a means by which to move a group of individuals from one place to another, in an orderly fashion. Drill is also used as a tool to teach recruits impulse control, discipline and command presence.

Recruits learn basic drill, facing movements and marching from explorer training academy staff instructors.