Border Patrol Explorer Post assists local non-profit in Maine
HOULTON, Maine – On August 1, Houlton Explorer Post 1820, in support of Friends of Aroostook, harvested 4,300 pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries. This community service project marked the beginning of Houlton Explorer Post 1820’s fourth year and the official restart of Explorer activities following COVID-19 mitigation.
Explorer Post 1820 has assisted Friends of Aroostook with harvesting for three consecutive years. The Explorers, accompanied by off duty Border Patrol agents and families, worked for three hours harvesting potatoes, cucumbers, and beans. The fresh vegetables harvested by the Explorers will be provided to local food pantries to help feed the food insecure around the State of Maine.
Restarting Explorer training and community service activities was not easy for the Border Patrol agents involved in the program.
“We decided that we owed it to Explorer Post 1820 to figure out a way to re-establish Explorer meetings and maintain their involvement in the community”, said Jodi Williams, Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge of the Houlton Border Patrol Station. “In order to do so, we had to determine the safest way to do that for our Explorers. This Explorer academy was held in a different manner - a shortened academy held in an outdoor location, limited hands-on training and adherence to social distancing protocols.”
Explorer Post 1820 activities restarted on July 27 for the annual Basic Law Enforcement Explorer Academy. The annual training session usually consists of 80 hours of intense training and is required for all new Explorers. However, due to COVID-19 risk mitigation, the 2020 academy was shortened to 40 hours.
“The 80 hour academy includes instruction that requires close contact with others, such as defensive tactics, arrest techniques, and 1st Aid/ CPR,” said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Mark Phillips. “Once we eliminated the topics requiring close contact, it was clear a shortened academy could be delivered within the CDC guidelines.”
Houlton Explorer Post 1820 has been sponsored by the United States Border Patrol, Houlton Station since 2017.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.