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The Marshall Project Is Investigating Police Explorer Programs. We Want to Hear From You.

Help us report on police sexual abuse of young people in these law enforcement programs.

A group of protesters hold signs, some showing photos of Sandra Birchmore, at a street corner.  A person in the foreground is holding a pink sign and a small American flag.
People attend a protest for Sandra Birchmore at Stoughton Town Hall on April 7, in Stoughton, Mass. In 2022, a police investigation concluded that three officers tied to a youth Explorers program had inappropriate relationships with Birchmore.

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country have Explorer posts: youth mentorship programs run by local police departments. These programs run under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, with the goal of teaching young people about policing.

At several police departments, Explorers between the ages of 13 and 21 have reported being abused by officers. We’ve so far found at least 194 allegations of abuse or inappropriate behavior dating back to 1974. We understand that many victims of sexual assault never report their abuse.

Over the coming months, we’re examining how young people were harmed through this program. We want to hear from survivors, lawyers who’ve fought on behalf of their clients, police officers or fellow Explorers who raised the alarm. We also want to hear from departments that have worked to make their programs safer. You can share your story with reporter Lakeidra Chavis at, or use the form below.

The information you share with us will help further our reporting. We take your privacy seriously and will not share your information or publish anything you share with us without permission.