GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - With a full police escort, the Gulfport police explorers received a warm welcome home.
Fresh off rush from their national competition, these students had much to be proud of.
"When we go in we're so nervous because we're competing against so many people. When we went to the awards ceremony, we saw first place on the board. It was exciting," said Derek Watts.
The group received first place in the interview and interrogation category. Advisor Raymond Brooks couldn't be prouder.
"When they place and they do as well as they do it just shows that the work we're putting into it is paying off," said Brooks.
The competition included several categories like written exams, how to respond to certain police-related calls and physical fitness.
Donald Knox, a college aged explorer, placed fourth in that category.
"I can't stress that to you enough how our advisors really just got it into our head mentally that we got this, we're going to be fine and we did our training and everything," said Knox.
Knox, a police explorer for six years, says it has helped him in making his decision to become a police officer.
"Just seeing that all the police officers are brothers, they're all together. It's a family, and that's what I want to be a part of," said Knox.
Chief Papania and Gulfport city officials showed up to welcome the explorers home and congratulate them on a job well done.