The biggest airgun competition in the world doesn’t include a single professional shooter. Heck, a few of the competitors have never fired a gun. But there are trophies at stake as 1500 participants in the Law Enforcement Explorers Conference seek to become the top shooter.
Exploring is operated by Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. The career education programs, in addition to Law Enforcement, include Arts & Humanities, Aviation, Business, Communications, Engineering, Fire Service, Health, Law & Government, Science, Skilled Trades and Social Services. The purpose of the Explorer program is to “help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.” Each of the career disciplines enable these young people to gain direct knowledge from professional in the field, giving them a headstart in life. The programs are structured to emphasis the core areas of “career opportunities, life skills, citizenship, character, education, and leadership experience.”
As soon as Explorer Posts (the equivalent of Boy Scout Troops) hit the Georgia Tech campus, home of the 2010 conference, young people rushed to the Air Pistol Shooting Competition taking place in the North Avenue Dormitory gym (formerly the Olympic Village). ”I’ve never seen so many shooters on Day One,” said Bob Soldivera, Crosman ProStaffer and Shooting Competition Director. Featured in the competition is the Crosman 3576 Revolver, capable of 10 rounds at 435fps. Crosman is providing nearly 100 guns, 2,000 CO2 powerlets and 72,000 pellets for the event.
Posts from across the country and Puerto Rico are here and all paid their own way. From fundraisers to some extra help from parents, these young people have learned about dedication and responsibility with their reward being a fantastic week at Georgia Tech. Post members attend seminars on law enforcement topics ranging from cybercrime and arrest & search techniques, to traffic accident investigation and white collar crime. It is a comprehensive week for those aspiring to a career in law enformcement.
Roland Anderson is attending his first NLEEC and is feeling confident about his chances in the air pistol competition, “We practice every two weeks for 5-6 hours.” His Post, #818 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, brought 39 of their 50 members. Explorers may shoot as often as they like and in his first time on the range, Anderson shot a 269 of a possible 300 to lead all competitors. He came back the very next day and raised the bar, putting up a 276. Two others from his Post are in contention.