Law enforcement 'Explorers' learn what it takes to be officers at APD academy

While many teenagers are spending their summer break at the pool or playing video games, one group of Central Texas teens is learning the skills needed for a career in law enforcement.

A group of aspiring Central Texas police officers called "Explorers" ranging from ages 14 to 20 are attending the Austin Police Department's free 4-week Explorer academy.

"It's basically a mini police academy where we teach them the in's and out's of law enforcement," said APD Sgt. David Boyd.

The young trainees were put through several scenarios.

In one scenario there's a man with a gun chasing a shoplifting suspect. The man with the gun is actually a police officer, but the young trainees don't know that. They have to figure that out for themselves.

"Unfortunately we have what's called blue-on-blue type incidents all across the country and so this is a scenario where the explorers have to think about that," said Senior Austin Police Officer Marcus Davis.

In another scenario, the officers face an active shooter.

Students said they chose to walk the thin blue line for different reasons.

"I learned how to push myself farther than what I thought I could do," said Electra Yanik who will be a freshman at Austin High this year.

"I'm protecting my siblings, I'm protecting my mother, I'm protecting my father, and protecting the rest of the community around me and that's what I wanted to do," said Osiel Guevara.

If you'd like to join the Explorers, click here.