Police Explorers show off law enforcement skills during Federal Way challenge | Slideshow

About 80 youths representing more than 12 police departments, mostly across the state, gathered in Federal Way over the weekend to put their law enforcement skills to work during a Police Explorer challenge.

One team came from Tehachapi, Calif. during the 14th annual Federal Way challenge, said Federal Way police officer Curtis Tucker.

“Some people have brought up the issue of ‘teaching kids to be SWAT guys’ in this era of school shootings,” said Federal Way police officer Curtis Tucker in the information packet that was handed out to the Explorers. “This event is about teamwork and counting on your partner to make the right decision when necessary. Our kids don’t get enough critical thinking lessons given to them and we hope that this will test that and hopefully bring your post members closer together. This is about trust and working together, the rest is common sense.”

During the three-day event, Explorers had the opportunity to participate in about 14 scenarios, such as assisting detectives on serving a high-risk search warrant; dealing with terrorists on a bus with hostages; backing up narcotic agents on a high-risk buy/bust at a house; and a sniper challenge and assisting patrol with stopping an unknown shooter in the woods from shooting at a local school.

Events were held at various sites throughout the city, as well as the Auburn Range, where the sniper challenge was set up.

The event began on Friday as teams took turns going inside the Federal Way Public Schools’ old bus barn building to take on an “active shooter” using airsoft guns.

Tucker said during that event, sounds of gun fire were played through loud speakers and they used lights that flashed when the shooter fired his fake weapon.

“They have to decide who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy,” Tucker said. “With everything that’s going on and with all the noise, it definitely overstimulates them. If they hit the wrong guy, they have to explain why they did. It’s just that instance that makes them have a better understanding of what we do and why we’re held accountable for our actions.”

More information

The Federal Way Police Explorers are a group of volunteer young adults ages 15-21 who are interested in law enforcement and serving the Federal Way community. For more information, visit

Photos courtesy of Brown’s Point Photography.


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