The Law Enforcement Explorer Program is sponsored by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America. Through direct interaction with working field Deputies, detectives and support staff, a young person is motivated to expand their interest in the profession of law enforcement as a career. The purpose of the program is to have responsible young men and women within the County explore all aspects of modern law enforcement.


Encourage Positive Citizenship The program encourages desirable character traits, ethical conduct, sound morals, patriotism and respect for law and order so that the Explorers’ exemplary behavior might be emulated by their peers.

Active Participation By being involved in a positive community based program, the young person is able to occupy their spare time by providing worthwhile objectives to pursue.

Career Exploration The Sheriff’s Explorer Program provides young people in the community the opportunity to explore their interests and aptitudes in the field of law enforcement by on the job exposure to the Sheriff’s Department’s various duties.


Explorer candidates must meet rigid standards in order to qualify to participate in the program. During the application process a complete records and background check will be completed, including contacting personal references. To submit an application you should meet the following criteria:
  • An applicant must be between 16 and 20 years of age.
  • Graduated, enrolled or possess a GED certificate from high school.
  • Maintain at least an overall “C” grade point average, if they are still enrolled in school.
  • Ability to perform 20 hours a month of service to the department. This may beaccomplished through a balance of ride-alongs, performing office work, attending meetings and training, or special assignments.


Hundreds of current law enforcement officers in San Diego County began their career as Sheriff’s Explorers. You are invited to become a part of the Exploring team. You may click here to download an application. If you have any trouble accessing the application, please contact Curt Goldberg at Sheriff’s Personnel Division at (858) 974-2011. E-Mail Curt Goldberg Completed applications should be submitted to the Sheriff’s Explorer Coordinator. The Sheriff’s Personnel office will set up an interview with the applicant and will conduct a background investigation. Qualified candidates will be notified that they have been accepted into the Sheriff’s Explorer Program as a cadet. Explorer cadets may participate in explorer functions on limited bases, while waiting to attend the Explorer Academy.


An Explorer cadet will complete a course of instruction that will prepare them to enter the Law Enforcement Explorer Academy.

There are two types of Law Enforcement Academies. One is any eight day, summer live-in academy and the other academy is held during the school year, over 4 weekends. The training includes classes in Criminal Law, Patrol Procedures, Report writing and Physical Fitness.

Upon Academy graduation, the Explorer Cadet will earn the privilege to wear the badge and uniform of a Sheriff’s Deputy Explorer. In addition, Explorers will receive continuous professional training monthly in law enforcement related topics throughout their tenure in the program.

As a Deputy Explorer you will be assigned to one of the ten patrol stations throughout San Diego County: Encinitas, Fallbrook, Vista, Santee, San Marcos, Poway, Ramona, Lemon Grove, Imperial Beach or Valley Center.

Sheriff Explorers provide a myriad of beneficial services to the Sheriff’s Department and to the community. Many Explorers volunteer thousands of hours annually to the community.

For more information about the Explorer Academy, please visit the San Diego County Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association website.


Each station is comprised of Deputy Explorers under the supervision of an Explorer Sergeant. The patrol stations are divided into three geographical divisions. Each division is managed by an Explorer Lieutenant. The entire Sheriff’s Explorer Program is commanded by an Explorer Captain. Deputy Explorers may be promoted through the ranks as they gain expertise and experience.


Explorer personnel perform a tremendous service to the citizens of San Diego County. The motto of the County of San Diego is “The noblest motive is the public good.” The explorers who serve the department and community without compensation truly exemplify the spirit of striving for the public good.

Your service to our community will require great diligence and dedication to the duties and responsibilities of a Deputy Explorer. Your fellow explorers have set high standards in both spirit and professional ability. I am pleased to have you join us in this proud tradition of providing superior service to the citizens of San Diego County.

Congratulations on your decision to become a member of the Sheriff’s Department. I wish you a long and successful career.

Written Correspondence:
San Diego Sheriff’s Department
ATTN: Sheriff’s Personnel
P.O. Box 939062
San Diego, CA 92193-9062

For more information contact:
Sheriff’s Personnel (Curt Goldberg)
(858) 974-2011