LAKE COUNTY — Young people may soon have the opportunity to gain hands-on law enforcement training and receive mentoring through the Law Enforcement Exploring program.

A national program affiliated with Learning for Life, a non-scouting subsidiary of Boy Scouts of America.

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin is trying to establish a local chapter in Lake County.

The program is for young men and women who are at least 14-years-old and have completed eighth-grade to age-20, and there also is a cadet program for children. Members get to wear uniforms, duty gear and assist at functions in the county such as Troutarama and the Irons Flea Roast. They will be working alongside deputies and sheriff’s reserves, receiving real life training.

“We will meet with those interested and go forward with training, workshops and programs,” said Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin. “I have 10 to 15 kids who are interested now. We will be looking for donations from the community for registration fees and things such as leather gear. I don’t want to ask kids to pay for it out of their pocket, even if it has to come out of my own.”

Areas of emphasis are exploring career opportunities, leadership experience, life skills, citizenship and character education.

“The program is putting us in the right direction with mentoring youth,” Martin added.

“Although it is geared toward kids going into law enforcement, the program also is inclusive toward kids needing mentoring. The closest program is Grand Rapids, and so we will probably be the only one in northern lower Michigan.”

For more information, contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office by calling (231) 745-2712.