UM-Dearborn Tekes Host Fundraiser to Support Police Explorer Program
Tau Kappa Epsilon, a fraternity stationed at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, will host a fundraising dinner Friday that will benefit the Dearborn Police Explorer program, which hopes to send six explorers and two advisors to the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference on July 11 in Flagstaff, Ariz.
“TKE has a strong relationship with the Dearborn Police Department,” said Zach Kerstein, president of TKE at UM-D since April 2014.
Kerstein, 24, said that TKE has had multiple members both past and present who have been either explorers in the cadet program or full-time police officers with the Dearborn department.
And after one of his former TKE brothers was recently hired into Dearborn Police, the brothers at the fraternity wanted to focus their philanthropy efforts on helping the cadet program.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities to help the Dearborn community,” he said.
“We believe it is important to be involved in the community, especially because about 50 percent to 70 percent of our members live in Dearborn or Dearborn Heights.”
Kerstein also hopes that the fundraising efforts his TKE brothers engage in will show the true side of what being in a fraternity is all about.
“We want to dispel some of the negative stereotypes you see about fraternities,” he said.
“Some recent movies and TV shows really don't show the true side of what organizations like ours does.”
The explorer program, which is coordinated by Dearborn Police Cpl. Dan Bartok, is geared toward young men and women between the ages of 14 and 21 who are interested in joining the police force.
“It’s an avenue for young adults to have police officers assist with mentoring their development, assist with college and open up doors of opportunity that many people their age don’t experience or have the availability to have,” Bartok told The Press & Guide in January.
Explorers engage in activities that you would typically learn at a police academy, including emergency vehicle operations, bomb scene response and domestic violence intervention.
They also regularly aid the department in community policing by assisting during multiple events throughout the year, including the Dearborn Memorial Day parade and homecoming.
The program is completely self-funded, which means no city tax dollars go toward its operations.
This summer’s conference in Arizona, which is held every two years, will give the cadets an opportunity to build on some of the skills that they have already learned.
“Here is an opportunity for TKE to help get these cadets the best training, some of which they already get through Dearborn Police,” Kerstein said.
“Every dollar counts — it seems like the residents of Dearborn are excited about this and are very willing to help this great cause,” he said.
Friday’s formal dinner will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at Fairlane Center South, 19000 Hubbard Drive, and will feature a full buffet, live jazz music, and a presentation by the explorers that will show some of things they’ll learn during the convention this summer.
Donations to help fund the explorers can be made anytime at www.gofundme.com/post1177.
Further questions about the event can be directed to Andrew Buzzeo at Abuzzeo@umich.edu.
This story is adapted from The Press & Guide.