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For the past five years, Buncombe County Deputy Nick Baxevanis has spent almost every Monday evening with a group of 14-20 year-olds. Sometimes they talk history or ethics, other times they are planning a camping trip or preparing for upcoming competitions and volunteer opportunities. As head of the County’s Explorer Post, Nick gets to pass on his infectious love of law enforcement to a new generation. “I enjoy working with young people and helping them grow and become great people. These young men and women are our future, and we must do what we can to help our youth,” he says.
Explorer Post is an initiative aimed at introducing a potential career in law enforcement or criminal justice to teens. But it’s more than that. It’s a close-knit community building future leaders, instilling a sense of civic awareness and involvement, and giving them other soft skills that will help regardless of what career path these teens choose. “It helps them grow in strength of character, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship, and patriotism,” explains Nick. “Through Explorer Post, young men and women gain an understanding of procedural justice while members of law enforcement gain a better understanding of the communities we serve.”
Specifically, Nick says they cover topics such as the history of law enforcement, motor vehicle and criminal law, ethics, basic forensics, and more. They also tackle hard skills such as handcuffing, fire arms training, vehicle stops, and other simulations relevant to law enforcement. The underlying theme to the program is transforming all of this newfound knowledge into confidence. “A few years back, I had gone to one of the schools and was told one of my Explorers is such a great leader. This was a young man that had never shown any leadership in training, but showed it outside of the Explorer Post,” exclaims Nick.
At the end of the day, Nick says Explorer Post is basically him just doing what he loves. “I get to have fun. I get to play the bad guy in training and teaching them my profession. I get to see them grow up into adulthood,” he says.
Want to get involved with Buncombe County’s Explorer Post? Membership is open to young adult males and females who meet these requirements:
- Be at least 14 years old and completed the eighth grade; or 15 years old, but not older than 21 years of age.
- Have parental approval, which includes signatures by the Explorer and his/her parent/guardian on a general liability release form.
- Be of good physical and mental health.
- Be of good moral character with no arrests or convictions of serious offenses.
- Maintain a 2.5 GPA or above in all subjects of school work.
If you are interested contact Deputy Nick Baxevanis at (828) 250-4422 or via email at Nicholas.Baxevanis@buncombecounty.org.