ECSO Explorer Capt. Colten Prater accepted into National Leadership Academy

ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Explorer Capt. Colten Prater accepted into National Leadership Academy

Waxahachie, Texas – May 16, 2015

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Capt. Colten Prater has been accepted into the U.S. Marshals National Leadership Academy. The one-week academy will be held in July in Washington, D.C. Prater, 20, is the son of Jeff and Shawna Prater of The Colony. He has been an Explorer the past seven years, the last two with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office’s Explorer Post.

Exploring has taught him “how to be a leader, responsibility, urgency, compassion and patience,” he says, saying that he applied to the Leadership Academy “because I know that it will be a great experience for me and I want to be able to bring back what I learned to the Explorers.

“I expect to learn more about myself along with more ways I can use to influence the people around me and to become a better leader,” he said. “I will share the gained knowledge with others the best way I know how to and that is by putting them in my shoes when I share with them the information I learned.”

During his tenure as an Explorer, Prater has received many honors, including Explorer of the Year, two Community Service Awards and a Life Saving Award. He has been a member of a top five placing team at the state Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Association state championship the past four years. In 2014, as post captain, Prater led his four-person Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer team to first place overall honors at the TLEEAA state championship, setting a new state record with a 99.75 out of a possible 100 score. He also has led his team to several other first place awards in other competitions held throughout the state.

As an individual in the state competition’s physical agility competition, Prater has taken top honors the past four years and, in 2014, broke his previous state record score. Other honors he has earned as a Law Enforcement Explorer include National Law Enforcement Explorer Conference, Distinguished Physical Fitness Award, Firearms Training, Drug Abuse Prevention, Emergency Preparedness, Law Enforcement Service, Law Enforcement Training, Crime Prevention, Community Service, Color Guard, Explorer Academy Attendance and Tenure. In 2015, he has received the Gold Presidential Service Award and the Career Achievement Award.

Earlier this spring, Prater and his fellow Explorers from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post were honored with resolutions at the state Capitol and have previously been honored with a proclamation by the Ellis County Commissioners Court.

“I have been all across the state and nation seeing how Exploring posts conduct their meetings and how they train,” Prater said. “Not once have I come across a group of young men and women who are so dedicated not only to themselves, but to their team and Exploring post. The men and women of the Ellis County Sheriff Explorers post are a close group of individuals who treat each other as family instead of friends: that if one of them is in need of help, they all stand up ready to do so.

“To me this is what Exploring is about,” Prater said. “It’s not the trophies or competitions, but building a family and having relationships that last a lifetime. The young men and women of this post have taught me this and I am grateful.”

Prater’s future plans include a career in law enforcement, either with the state troopers or the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Only 90 Explorers from around the nation were selected for this summer’s academies sponsored by Learning for Life. In all, four Explorers from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring Post were accepted. Besides Prater, Explorer Lt. Gage Adams, Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress and Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress were all accepted to this summer’s academies.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO Explorer Lt. Gage Adams selected for National Leadership Academy

ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Explorer Lt. Gage Adams selected for National Leadership Academy

Waxahachie, Texas – May 16, 2015

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Lt. Gage Adams has been accepted into the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration National Leadership Academy. The one-week academy will be held in June in Washington, D.C.

Adams, 18, is the son of Darrin and Amy Adams of Waxahachie. He is a 2014 graduate of Life School in Waxahachie and is a freshman at Navarro College. He has been with the Sheriff’s Office’s Explorer Post for about three years.

“Exploring has taught me a lot about the side of law enforcement everyday people don’t always get to see,” he said. “Especially now that there is a mass distrust of the police, we as Explorers are privileged to see that the police are genuine and caring individuals.”

Adams applied to the academy because “I wanted to better myself so that I can make those around me better. I don’t exactly know what I’ll be doing there, but I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun and I’ll learn a lot, too.”

As part of the instruction and experience, he does expect to learn about the DEA’s leadership “and basically how to be a great leader. I want to learn how to lead so I can do just that on a higher level than I have been.”

Upon his return from the academy, Adams says he’ll apply what he learned and pass on the knowledge he gained to his fellow Explorers.

“There are a bunch of great young adults there that I really want to see succeed and I want to do anything I can to see that they do succeed in whatever it is that they want to accomplish,” he said. “I believe I’m a good teacher and I plan to teach my fellow Explorers what I’ve learned through training, real world experiences and by spending time with them and growing as a family.”

As an Explorer, Adams has been honored with two presidential service awards for accumulating more than 250 community service hours in one year. He’s also been named in two resolutions issued by the Texas House of Representatives, a resolution by the Texas Senate and a proclamation by the Ellis County Commissioners Court for his accomplishments as a member of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring Post. Adams was a member of the four-member team that won first place overall honors at the 2014 Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Association’s state competition. He also serves as a member of the post’s color guard, which has been honored to present the colors for U.S. Congressman Joe Barton at several activities.

“Exploring is a great program that really goes a long way toward teaching teenagers and young adults about careers they are interested in,” Adams said. “Exploring not only prepares you for your career but it also helps you become a better person. Our Exploring post is unique because we are so tightly knit. We are really like a family. And I can say the Explorers are 18 of my closest, best and truest friends.”

Adams’ career plans are to join law enforcement locally, either as a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office ECSO or as an officer with the Waxahachie or Red Oak police departments.

“I like my hometown so I don’t plan on going anywhere,” he said. “After I get a few years of experience under my belt I will try and apply for positions in federal agencies like the DEA or ATF, while still trying to stay somewhat local.”

Only 90 Explorers from around the nation were selected for this summer’s academies sponsored by Learning for Life. In all, four Explorers from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring Post were accepted. Besides Adams, Explorer Capt. Colten Prater, Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress and Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress were all accepted to this summer’s academies.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress accepted into National Leadership Academy


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress accepted into National Leadership Academy

Waxahachie, Texas – May 16, 2015

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress has been accepted into the U.S. Marshals National Leadership Academy. The one-week academy will be held in July in Washington, D.C. Snodgress, 18, is the daughter of Marc and Cheryl Snodgress of Waxahachie and is a three-year member of the Sheriff’s Office’s Explorer Post.

“I applied to the U.S. Marshals Leadership Academy because I felt it was better tailored to my future goals,” Snodgress said, noting the academy will include “lots of sightseeing, team building exercises and opportunities to learn better ways to work as a team.”

“I honestly don’t know what to expect, but I know I’m going to come away a better leader and a better Explorer,” said Snodgress, who credits Exploring for the skills she has developed so far. “Explorers has taught me how to have command presence, how to build confidence and how to work together on teams with different people.

“I will definitely do my best to just soak everything in and bring what they teach back to Texas so I can continue to help make our post a better one,” she said. “I would share what I learned after sitting down with our head advisor and talking over what I learned – and what we can implement into our post.”

Among her accomplishments, Snodgress lists membership on the four-person Sheriff’s Office Explorer team that placed first overall at the 2014 Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association state competition.

As an Explorer and as a member of the Sheriff’s Office’s Exploring Post command staff, Snodgress says she has “the opportunity to be a positive influence on young people that maybe aren’t going down the right paths in their lives. That wouldn’t be able to happen without being in Explorers: being able to go on ride-outs and learning, having deputies in my life and other Explorers’ lives to look up to as role models, and then turning around and being able to serve as a role model to the Explorers that are under my care.

“It’s knowing that, as an Explorer, I’m making a difference,” she says. “I’m giving young people the opportunity that I had to see that maybe law enforcement is the path that they want to travel down. It’s being able to encourage others, to push them to discover the potential that I see in them. If I didn’t have my advisor and a couple Explorers pushing me, encouraging me, I never would’ve been able to reach my full potential and realize that I can be a law enforcement officer.”

Snodgress’ future plans include going into the U.S. Air Marshals Service and, after finishing her service with that agency, possibly coming back to become a canine officer.

Only 90 Explorers from around the nation were selected for this summer’s academies sponsored by Learning for Life. In all, four Explorers from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring Post were accepted. Besides Snodgress, Explorer Capt. Colten Prater, Explorer Lt. Gage Adams and Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress were all accepted to this summer’s academies.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress accepted into National Leadership Academy


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress accepted into National Leadership Academy

Waxahachie, Texas – May 16, 2015

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress has been accepted into the U.S. Army Military Police National Leadership Academy. The one-week academy will be held in July at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Snodgress, 20, is the son of Marc and Cheryl Snodgress of Waxahachie. He has been an Explorer the past five years.

“Explorers has taught me unity, it has taught me how to be a leader, it has taught me how to work as a team and that I need to rely on my team mates, it has also taught me where I need to step up in some of my roles in my post and in my life,” Snodgress says of the program.

He applied for the U.S. Army Military Police academy because he wants to serve in the military.

“I’m not sure which branch I am wanting to go into, but I know I’m wanting to go in,” he said. “Another reason why I chose this is because my grandfather was a military police officer and it will kind of show me what he did. I am also hoping this academy will teach me better leadership skills and how I can improve in my physical fitness.”

At the academy, the Explorers’ training will include team work development, patrol incidents, military police confinement operations, unarmed self-defense, physical endurance course, special reaction team and room clearing, weapon familiarization with several different weapons systems, confidence course, non-lethal demonstration and familiarization, weapons assembly/disassembly, engagement skills trainer, and shotgun/M9 range training.

“I am super excited and ready to go,” Snodgress said. “I hope to learn a lot, including how to work with people I have never met or worked with before, along with new leadership skills and how I can bring it back with me to my post and teach the younger Explorers.”

Snodgress plans to apply the leadership skills he learns to his everyday activities with family and friends as well as his activities with the Explorers.

“I will bring back what I learn and share with the rest of my Explorer post what I learned and how we can use it in our post to make it better and stronger as a family,” he said.

As a Sheriff’s Office Explorer, Snodgress has taken part in numerous competitions, earning several honors for which he and his fellow Explorers have been recognized at the state Capitol and by the Ellis County Commissioners Court. April 30, he took part in a flag presentation for a Scouting event that drew Gov. Greg Abbott’s attendance. At the end of last year, Snodgress also became a youth leader for his youth group.

“Explorers has taught me a lot of skills and personal traits that I would not have learned if I didn't join the Explorer post,” he said. “What I would say to all the young people out there is, if there is an Explorer post near you, join it. It will keep you out of trouble; it will show you the side of law enforcement that you either don’t see or that the news media doesn’t show. It may open your eyes to a career that you didn’t know was available.”

Snodgress’ future plans include joining the military, becoming an officer and going to college. After serving in the military, he wants to work in law enforcement or for a federal agency.

Only 90 Explorers from around the nation were selected for this summer’s academies sponsored by Learning for Life. In all, four Explorers from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring Post were accepted. Besides Snodgress, Explorer Capt. Colten Prater, Explorer Lt. Gage Adams and Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress were all accepted to this summer’s academies.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

National Peace Officers Memorial Day recognized


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

National Peace Officers Memorial Day recognized

Waxahachie, Texas – May 15, 2015

National Peace Officers Memorial Day is held each year on May 15 and the calendar week in which it falls is recognized as National Police Week; both were established by a joint resolution of Congress and proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. They serve to provide special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

Shown here, Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown (at left) and Ennis Police Chief John Erisman place a wreath at the Fallen Officer Memorial at the Courthouse Park by the historical Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie.

For more information on National Peace Officers Memorial Fund and related activities, visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 


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