default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

For one Galt Police Explorer program graduate, exposure to occupation was best part

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:00 am

From about the age of 12, Lodi Police Officer Nick Welton was interested in being a police officer.

He was a Lodi News-Sentinel delivery boy and had several police officers on his paper route, including Lodi Police Officers Jim Mize and Larry Helwig.

"Both were like mentors to me, and always took the time to answer any questions I had about their job," Welton said.

But it wasn't until six years later that a mutual friend introduced him to the Galt Police Explorer program. The friend learned of his interest in being a police officer and asked if he wanted to be a part of it.

Welton was accepted into the program in 1988 and regularly attended meetings as an Explorer through 1991.

He said the best part about being an Explorer was the exposure to the job of being a police officer. Even then, the Explorers often rode with police officers and assisted them with the use of the police radio and paperwork.

As is the case today, other duties included helping with police-related functions such as the Galt Festival, Galt Flea Market parking enforcement and traffic-related matters.

"The worst part was all of the paperwork to be done after the fun was over," Welton said.

Within the program, he said, there was room for promotion, so he moved up through the ranks to a captain's position.

"My responsibilities were to assist the officers of the department, help oversee the Explorer program, and help train (and) groom the newer Explorers for potential careers in law enforcement," Welton said.

Welton currently works as a patrol officer, but credits his career launch to his years as a Galt Police Explorer. In 1991, he was hired by the department, where his assignments included bicycle patrol, K9 officer and reserve police officer coordinator.

In 2000, Welton transferred to Lodi, his home town. There he has worked on bicycle patrol, as a SWAT officer, Honor Guard, detective and San Joaquin County Auto Theft Task Force Investigator.

Among his peers, he can tell the difference between new officers who attended an Explorer program before entering the police academy and those who didn't. For example, an Explorer who has put in the time commonly knows what to expect, almost as if they were a police officer before, according to Welton.

"Knowledge is very key to the job, and being exposed to the attributes of the job gives a much-needed edge when dealing with the public. Those that do not have the experience have to kind of jump right in to the surroundings without first being exposed to them," he said. "From my experience, those who are Explorers prior to becoming an officer develop faster than those who were not Explorers. This benefits the individual, the department, and the public."

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 67


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists