“It’s all about giving back to the community that gave so much to you,” says San Antonio Police Officer Scott Hermes.

Officer Hermes is the Post Advisor at San Antonio Police Explorer Post #399 at the South Side Substation. There, he’s a mentor and sometimes, a father figure to 35 young adults who work together on community service projects. They’ve volunteered for many organizations around San Antonio, including the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association and most recently, with Blue Cares for the Miracle Mattress “Miracle Event,” a free, fun filled event for children of all ages.

As the Post Advisor, Hermes counsels the young adults about issues like leadership, morals, and values. “This is the first step in becoming a police officer for young people,” Officer Hermes explains. “I believe they have to learn how to be a better person first instead of the best police officer that they can be. Are all 35 people going to be a police officer? No, but they will be better people having gone through the program.”

Although Officer Hermes has children of his own, he never misses out on the chance to step in and act as a mentor and parent to other young adults. Whether he’s attending sporting events to cheer an Explorer on, or offering advice, Hermes does his best to make sure the Explorers have the support and guidance they need.

Destiny Lechuga, a Police Explorer and Lady Buffalo for Fox Tech High School Volleyball, recounts the time Officer Hermes proved his heroism. Before a game on ‘Parent’s Night’ for the Lady Buffaloes, each player was called up and escorted by their parents across the court. Having spent most of her life without parents, Destiny was proudly escorted by Officer Hermes.

Hermes has been in the force for almost 23 years. Having always wanted to be a police officer or a fire fighter since he was young, he applied to both departments at the same time. The first to respond was the San Antonio Police Department. The San Antonio Fire Department called about two weeks later, but he chose to stick with the police department.

Hermes first got involved with The Explorers 14 years ago after attending a community service policing unit called San Antonio Fear Free Environment (SAFFE). The advisor of the post retired and they were looking for someone to take over. Hermes signed up until they could find someone permanent. He stayed and has been involved with The Explorers for seven years now. His biggest accomplishment as an advisor has been witnessing two explorers become police officers.

In his seven years, he has developed strong bonds with many of the members of the Explorer Program. John Rodriguez, Deputy Chief and protégé states, “As well as being a great mentor, he has been an outstanding father figure to many in our program. Whenever any of us had problems at home, we could always count on Officer Hermes as being our platform to keep us from falling.” Chief Mayela Perez says that Officer Hermes, “goes a long way to help everyone from police tactics to personal life. He’s never doubted the capability of others to succeed… When we struggle, he is the first one to go out of his way to help us.”

The San Antonio Police Explorer Program is a gateway to a career in law enforcement. It is designed to acquaint youth with the complexity of law enforcement and introduce them to police operations and procedures. Explorers build character, develop leadership skills, gain appreciation for community service, and develop good citizenship. If you want to learn more about the Explorers, visit www.sapdexplorers.com.

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Fun Facts: Officer Hermes has earned the title of “Officer of the Year” for the San Antonio Police Department twice! Also, the San Antonio Police Explorers have accumulated over 25,000 community hours combined over the past six years.