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Explorer Jr. Cadet

The first Explorer Post at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office was formed in 1959, under Sheriff Roy Baden. Since that time, there has often been a Post organized under the sheriff. Since approximately 1969, the Explorer program has been a permanent part of the Sheriff's Office.

The Explorer Program consists of youths ranging from age 14 to 21 who are interested in the operations of law enforcement.  It is the goal of the program to further the relationship between young adults in areas of grooming, integrity, discipline, perseverance and character, while helping to develop their interest in a career in law enforcement.


In 1997, Sheriff Charlie Wells implemented a Jr. Cadet Program.  The program is comprised of youths ranging from age 11 to 13 years old and teaches cadets responsibility, teamwork and self esteem.  The program was started to help the younger youths in the community have a positive interaction with law enforcement and to steer them in the right direction in life.


To join the Explorer or Jr. Cadet programs, the applicant must pass a screening procedure.  Once they are accepted as a Jr. Cadet or Explorer, they are put on a 3-month probation where they are monitored by the programs Explorer staff.  Upon completion of their probationary period, the Explorers are given Class B uniforms and are allowed to participate on field trips.

There are two squads in both the Jr. Cadet and Explorer programs.  The Jr. Cadet has a chairperson and two co-chairpersons with 20 cadets under their supervision.The Explorer Program consists of 25 Explorers which includes two sergeants, two lieutenants, one captain and one major.

Both programs help with many community activities some of which include; crowd control, parking cars, fingerprinting small children and assisting the Sheriff's Office when requested.

Students who are interested in joining the Explorers are encouraged to attend a meeting to get more information. Meetings are held at the Operations Center at 600 US Highway 301 Blvd West #202, Bradenton. Meetings are every Tuesday from 6:00 P.M to 8:00 P.M. Parents may also attend.

Explorer Your Possibilities

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