The very first program of its kind in West Virginia will start up in Wheeling.
At WesBanco Arena, the Wheeling Police Department staged an open house to attract young people to their new “Police Explorer Program.”
The department wants people between the ages to 14 and 21 to receive mentoring while preparing for a career in law enforcement.
Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said he wanted to see the city have this program , especially when he compared and contrasted police department recruiting today to when he became an officer.
“The biggest change is no one’s interested anymore,” Chief Schwertfeger said. “It’s very rare to find qualified applicants that truly want to do this job. That’s for a variety of reasons and that’s a national trend unfortunately. We’ve seen application pools, dwindle, and dwindle, and dwindle.”
Chief Schwertfeger hopes that the new club will launch in January 2019
He also wants to see some of those club members helping out the volunteers at the 2019 Wheeling Christmas Parade.