Money raised from concessions sold at a soccer match between the Copperas Cove Police Department and the Copperas Cove Fire Department on Sunday will benefit the Copperas Cove school district Explorer Program.

In its second year, the program offers training to teenagers interested in law enforcement careers.

Every month, cadets spend a minimum of one day training with the police department learning about traffic control, first responder duties, SWAT, hostage negotiations and criminal and penal codes.

The program vetted more than 100 applications this year, with less than 10 percent accepted.

“We’re trying to give students a one-on-one experience working in the police department and the law enforcement field,” said Officer William Hughes, program coordinator.

Cody Brown was the 2012 valedictorian of the Explorer Club and now serves as a mentor to new cadets.

He credits the Explorer Club with his current success, stating that the training he has received is invaluable. Brown said he spends an average of 40 hours every month volunteering with the Explorer Club and up to 18 hours a day helping with special events.

“I’ve always had an interest in law enforcement,” Brown said. “My dad was a police officer, and I would like to be a game warden. The Explorer Program helps prepare me to reach that goal.”

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