An inside look at Philadelphia's Explorer program

By Dan Geringer
The Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA - The teenagers came from cop families and from "don't snitch" families, from supportive and from broken homes - but when they slowly advanced down a hallway in a Philadelphia Police Academy training building, plastic guns drawn, protecting each other's backs while they searched the rooms for an "armed suspect," they were one team.

As they advanced, the diamond-shaped formation they were supposed to be moving in for self-protection became ragged, leaving the young wannabes vulnerable to ambush.

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