Cyler Franco and Carlos Toledo Explore Law Enforcement


Cyler Franco and Carlos Toledo

Weston Ranch juniors Cyler Franco and Carlos Toledo medaled in an Explorer Competition at St. Mary’s High School on February 19. Franco took 1st place in his “Office Down” scenario, and Toledo claimed 2nd place in his “Active Shooter” scenario. Overall, the pair helped their Explorer Team collect five trophies for the day.

The California Highway Patrol hosted the day at St. Mary’s. The Explorer Program is designed for young men and women 15 to 21 years of age, allowing them to develop the skills and knowledge needed to serve the people of California through discipline and a commitment to serving their community. The experience they obtain here will be directly applicable to a future in law enforcement while building relationships – with other Explorers in the community they serve. Explorers receive physical fitness, medical, organizational, and clerical training. As an Explorer, their time is spent attending Community Service events, staff DUI Checkpoints, participating in a ride along in the field, and competing in Explorer Competitions (

11 Explorer Posts from different parts of California participated last Saturday. Each group is given different scenarios and then asked to respond to the situation.

“The competition tests the Explorers’ knowledge of laws and procedures, as well as testing their physical abilities,” said Administration of Justice adviser Benjamin Cromwell. “The competition’s overall goal is to expose the Explorers to real-world scenarios in a sterile environment. Explorer posts will train months in advance for the competition. Some teams traveled from San Diego to participate.”

Franco and Toledo have shown strong aptitudes for law enforcement and public service. Joining Cromwell’s AOJ program was the perfect fit for both.

“I met Cyler and Carlos at the beginning of the school year,” Cromwell said. “Both students expressed a deep interest in public service. At the beginning of the year, Sgt. Young from SUSD PD told me they had openings in their explorer program. I relayed this information to Carlos and Cyler, who signed up to participate. I appreciate their commitment to the explorer program and my class.

Franco took first place in the “Officer Down” scenario. Franco and his partner received a call, drove to the scene, assessed the situation, and completed the scenario.

“We got the call and went through our steps,” Franco said. “It’s a ‘what would you do’ type of scenario, and we had to act. We engaged in a staged gun battle, got the scene under control, and had to administer first-aid. We were more excited than scared because Mr. Cromwell did a great job preparing us. My partner and I felt great afterward. To win the award meant a lot.”

Toledo took second place in the “Active Shooter” scenario. Like Franco and his partner, Toledo and his partner, we’re radioed about an active shooter on campus. When they arrived, they found three shooters to deal with.

“My scenario was challenging because we had a situation where there were three shooters,” Toledo said. “The biggest thing we had to remember was we had to work together. Communication is so important, and you have many things to look at in a short amount of time. It’s hard because you want to help the victims, but you have to remember to stay calm. We reassured the victims help was on the way, and it will be over soon.”

Franco added about Toledo, “Carlos has been in the program four months and did a super job assessing the scene and pulling the team together.”

The Explorers program has made a significant impact on Franco and Toledo. As a result, Franco plans to go to college, join the National Guard and pursue a law enforcement career.

“Overall, it’s been great,” said Franco. “I’ve made a lot of friends, and it’s taught me how to be a better person. The advisers help us so much because they are concerned about our training and show so much concern for us as young people.”

Toledo wants to be both a firefighter and a police officer. A rare combination but possible.

“The program helps me understand law enforcement. I want a career in fire safety and law enforcement, so Saturday’s competition confirms I am going after something valuable.”

Cromwell added, “I look forward to seeing what their future holds. It has been an absolute honor to watch them progress and to hear about their achievements in the explorer program.”

For more information about WRHS’s Administration of Justice Program and the Explorers, please get in touch with Mr. Cromwell.

Cyler Franco
Carlos Toledo