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  4. Houlton Border Patrol Explorer Post Returns to Washington D.C. for Police Week

Houlton Border Patrol Explorer Post Returns to Washington D.C. for Police Week

Release Date
Mon, 05/15/2023

HOULTON, Maine – Houlton Border Patrol Explorer Post 1820 traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in National Police Week activities. The weeklong visit to the nation's capital will give the Explorers an active role in commemorating and honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. 

Houlton Explorer Post 1820 was formed in 2017 and sponsored by U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) in Houlton, Maine. The Explorer program is designed to allow high school students, ages 14 to 18, to explore law enforcement as a possible career choice. The program provides law enforcement training, community service, and field trip opportunities not typically available to high school students. 

According to Special Operations Supervisor Mark Phillips, the Explorer Program Coordinator for USBP in Maine, the Explorers have been to National Police Week twice. In 2019, one of the Houlton Explorers was named U.S. Border Patrol Explorer of the Year. "The success of this program is dependent on the students who are involved," said Phillips. "We are as busy and as active as the students choose to be. We have been very fortunate that the Houlton community produces high-quality, motivated, and civically-minded students," he added.

During the COVID pandemic, activities slowed, but Houlton Explorer Post 1820 maintained operations. "COVID was a challenge for everyone. We all face challenges and adversity that can, sometimes, seem insurmountable. It leaves us with a choice, give up or adapt. In the Border Patrol, we don't give up; we adapt and overcome," Phillips said.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, USBP sponsored approximately 30 Explorer Posts with 500 Explorers nationally. By 2022's National Police Week, the only post remaining was the Houlton Explorer Post and its seven students.

"When we went to Police Week last year, we stood out. We were the only post from Border Patrol to make the trip. It is a source of pride, not only for the students but for the agent advisors and our leadership team, to have been able to successfully navigate the COVID precautions and maintain a functioning Explorer Post," Phillips said.  

Explorer Post 1820 is recruiting new students for the 2023 Basic Explorer Academy. The Explorer Academy will be held in Houlton, Maine, in July and is open to area high school students ages 14-18 with at least a "C" grade point average and of good character.            

Follow us on Twitter @USBPChiefHLT and @CBPNewEngland.

Last Modified: May 15, 2023