Working with Local Youth

The Ithaca Police Explorer Post #392

IPD Explorer Post #392 was formed in 1997 to offer young adults, between the ages of 14 and 21, the opportunity to learn about law enforcement as a career option. Police officers and parent/adult volunteers supervise the Explorers. The Post meets every Monday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the year. It provides experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

Former IPD Officer Tony Scaglione was integral in starting the program. Officers Christine Barksdale and Greg Firman, who were both assigned to the Neighborhood Policing Unit, were also involved in scheduling events and providing classroom instruction. Post members take part in the Department's "ride-along program" with on duty police officers following patrol operations training. Explorers also learn firearms safety, courtroom procedures, and much more.  Officer Scaglione Officer Barksdale, and Officer Firman assumed other duties and in the fall of 2009 the program ceased operations. 

In the spring of 2015 the IPD Explorers Post program was revitalized.  Officer Richard Niemi and Officer Michaela Conrad supervise and administer the program.  The Explorers provide assistance with traffic control during special events and at accident scenes, as well as crime prevention events assisting with fingerprinting children and distributing information. They also assist officers on patrol by obtaining information from witnesses and victims, and receive CPR and First Aid training.

Members raise funds throughout the year to pay for expenses including attendance of the National Conference.


The Ithaca Police Department in cooperation with the Ithaca City School District and the Rotary Club of Ithaca have implemented D.A.R.E., an exciting approach to preventing substance use among school children.

D.A.R.E. is a substance use prevention education program designed to equip elementary school children with skills for resisting peer pressure to experiment with tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. This unique program uses uniformed law enforcement officers to teach a formal curriculum to students in a classroom setting. D.A.R.E. gives special attention to the 5th grade to prepare students for entry into junior high and high school, where they are most likely to encounter pressure to use drugs.

D.A.R.E. lessons focus on 4 major areas:
  • Giving students ideas for alternatives to drug use
  • Providing accurate information about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs
  • Showing students how to resist peer pressure
  • Teaching students decision-making skills
The Ithaca Police Department is deeply committed to the D.A.R.E. program and currently has 1 full time officer teaching D.A.R.E. in Ithaca's schools.

To find out more about D.A.R.E. in general, please visit D.A.R.E. America.