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.