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Q&A: Steven Cronkhite awarded 'Explorer Leadership Award'

March 20, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com
  • Steven Cronkhite, a civilian advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Explorer Program, was recently awarded the "Explorer Leadership Award" from the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life program.
Steven Cronkhite, a civilian advisor for the Los Angeles… (Photo courtesy…)

Steven Cronkhite was a freshman at La Cañada High School when he started a career in law enforcement.

As a member of an Explorer post affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the La Cañada Flintridge resident rode along with deputies and assisted a boy who was suffering a seizure. The Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life program recently awarded him the Explorer Leadership Award.

Cronkhite, now 22, is a civilian advisor and hopes to one day become a deputy sheriff. He studies criminal law at Pasadena City College. He answered questions via email for the Valley Sun.


You graduated from the Explorer Academy in 2007. Can you explain what the academy teaches you and how you got involved in it?

The Explorer Academy is a mandatory basic training process that all Sheriff Explorers must go through before being stationed at a patrol station of their choice. The Explorer Academy essentially teaches the recruits business skills. As a recruit, you are taught how to dress professionally, how to take care of your body, may it be healthy eating habits or physical exercises, and to learn public-speaking skills. The academy molds an everyday high school student into a young professional ready for the workplace. The academy is tough, it's a para-military program which breaks down who you think you are while the staff builds you into the man or woman you thought you'd never know.

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What is your current position and what are your duties?

As the Explorers is a youth program, the maximum age for an Explorer is the day of your 22nd birthday. I “aged out” of the Explorer program on my birthday earlier this year, in January. I didn't want to leave my Explorers, I had worked very hard on turning a team of three into a team of 10. Nevertheless, I turned in my captain insignias and the issued gear. Thankfully, my advisors felt it was necessary to keep me on with the program, for I still had so much to teach them, so they hired me on as a civilian advisor, where I am now. Getting this job was essentially a promotion from Explorer captain.

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