In November of 1959, Orange County Sheriff James A. Musick wanted "young men," who desired exposure in the field of law enforcement to be afforded the opportunity to do so. In a newspaper article he stated, "We organized the group after we found that other special interest Explorer Posts were taking our best young men from our high schools. We decided, rather than take what was left over after other fields of endeavor took the best, that we should start training young men of high school age now for a career in law enforcement."
Thus, the first Law Enforcement Exploring Post in the nation was established. Its purposes were, "To train young men of today for the future that awaits them in the law enforcement field of tomorrow. To stimulate young men's interest in law enforcement practices, the code of ethics, and the fine qualities of citizenship which are expected, to briefly explore all phases of law enforcement and to be a definite approach to juvenile decency." Post 449 began with twenty-eight explorers in Santa Ana who had to meet the qualifications of being "between 14 and 21, must maintain a "B" average in school, have a clean record, be of outstanding citizenship in their community and have a general reputation beyond reproach."
In 1973, after fifteen years of only young men being allowed in the Exploring program, Boy Scouts of America allowed young women to explore careers in law enforcement through membership in a Explorer Program. Maintaining the same high standards for qualification and training these young women diversified the Department's Post.
When the residents of contract cities and the unincorporated county area need help they call the Sheriff's Department; when the Sheriff's Department needs help they call on their Explorers. The Orange County Sheriff's Explorer Post supports deputies during road closures caused by natural disasters such as mudslides, floods and forest fires. They complete search missions where either missing persons or evidence is sought, and are deployed to protect us protect crime scene perimeters. This involvement, by the explorers, allows Deputies to be available for calls for service.
Explorers are also used to assist in public education. They distribute brochures explaining changes in parking regulations or temporary street closures. During Bicycle Rodeo Events, Explorers demonstrate to children how to properly size and wear bicycle helmets. They offer child identification and crime awareness, through a "Kid-Print" program and assist in crime prevention demonstrations throughout the county.
The Department's Explorers serve the community by providing crowd and traffic control during Basic Academy Graduations, County Building Dedications, Mall grand openings, Community awareness fairs, 10 K runs, parades and a multitude of other charitable events. The Post's Color guard is used to present the flag at City Council and County Board of Supervisor meetings, as well as scouting and civic events.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department Explorers participate in Law Enforcement competitions throughout the state. Through the use of the Department's "Laser Village" and its Training Staff, Post 449 Explorers have learned skills which enabled them to win several awards in Felony Car Stop, D.U.I., Bomb Threat and Search and Building Search scenarios. The Explorers also compete in Tug-of War, Volleyball and Obstacle Course competitions.
Sheriff's personnel, who volunteer as Advisors for the Department's Post, contribute countless hours exposing youths to Law Enforcement Careers. Their commitment to the advancement of the Exploring program goes beyond the Department's Post. The Department's Advisors also serve on the County-wide Organization as Ranking Officials, Academy Directors, Tactical Training Officers and Instructors at the Explorer Academy. In addition to Orange County, these Advisors have trained and taught Explorers from Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties.