by Mark McDermott
Manhattan Beach Police Department Sgt. Tim Zins remembers what it was like to be 16. The Manhattan Beach native had no real idea what he wanted to do with his life.
“I was kind of in that lost land,” Zins recalled. “Okay, do I want to go to college? Go to El Camino? What am I going to do?”
A friend told him about the Police Explorer program, which involved going to a police academy for 10 weeks at ECC and then volunteering with MBPD. It sounded interesting, so Zins signed up. It opened his eyes to the possibilities.
“It was the different varieties of jobs that I didn’t know as a 16-year-old were involved in a police department,” Zins said. “It was like, ‘Wow, I could go riding as a motorcycle officer, or be a detective, or be a K-9 handler. Look at all these possibilities.”
He was an Explorer until he was 19, then was hired by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He worked there two years and then came back to MBPD. He’s now been an officer for 25 years.
“I got into the Explorer program, and it gave me direction for what I wanted to do,” Zins said. “I wanted to be a police officer.”
Last month, for the first time in the 30 years, Zins was with the Explorers from MBPD Post #420 for the Battle of…
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