Killeen Police Department Explorers, back row, from right, Adam Barnes, Christian Robinson, Ian Drake, Brendan Hill and front row, from right, Brianna Cruz, Jasmine Sanchez, Victoria Hernandez and Lilly Goodsby.

Courtesy photo

Local teens in the Killeen Police Department’s Explorers program brought home several awards from a state-level competition during the weekend in Arlington.

The event at the University of Texas-Arlington included 98 state teams.

While it was their first time competing, the KPD Explorers took home several awards including:

  • First place: Unknown Call for Police
  • Second place: Active Shooter
  • Second place: Crime Scene Search
  • Third place: White Collar Crime.

“It was an awesome experience,” said Leandria Goodsby, a 17-year-old Copperas Cove High School student who is a sergeant in the program. “For us to be brand-new and come back with those (awards) was really great.”

Goodsby, whose father and uncle are both Killeen police officers, took third place on the physical agility course and earned a $500 scholarship.

“I am unbelievably proud of these kids,” said KPD Officer Amanda Holtzclaw, who runs the program for the department. “They put a lot of time and dedication into the program.”

The KPD Explorers program is open to youth ages 14 and older. Its goal is to acquaint them with the complexity of police work and encourage them to consider careers in law enforcement.

“We teach them basic law enforcement skills, build their leadership skills and participate in community service,” Holtzclaw said.

Goodsby said she joined the program because she was interested in becoming a police officer.

“In the end, I think the program has made me a better person.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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