BELMONT COUNTY, OHIO (WTRF) – More of the area’s youth got the chance to participate in the second academy for the Law Enforcement Exploring program Tuesday evening.

This is a nationally recognized, hands-on program for young men and women who have an interest in law enforcement or the criminal justice system. It’s designed to promote personal growth, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, patriotism and good interpersonal communication skills.

Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas has been working on this program for years, and now that it is up and running, he hopes to begin a version for adults sometime in the future.

“We’re not an effective law enforcement unless we have the support and the backing of our community. So that’s why the citizen academy is very important that I want to get off the ground while I’m still your sheriff.”

David Lucas, Belmont County Sheriff

“It just taught me basic life values, and basically boosted my work ethic because of all I’ve been taught through it.”

Nathan Galownia, Belmont County Explorer Post #7

The young explorers have access to training, mentoring, competitions, along with practical experience and many other activities.