ECSO Explorer Lt. Gage Adams selected for National Leadership Academy

Photo courtesy Ellis County Sheriff's Office.
Ellis County Sheriff's Office Explorer Lt. Gage Adams has been accepted into the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration National Leadership Academy.

ELLIS COUNTY — Ellis County Sheriff's Office Explorer Lt. Gage Adams has been accepted into the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration National Leadership Academy. The one-week academy will be held in June in Washington, D.C.

Adams, 18, is the son of Darrin and Amy Adams of Waxahachie. He is a 2014 graduate of Life School in Waxahachie and is a freshman at Navarro College. He has been with the Sheriff's Office's Explorer Post for about three years.

"Exploring has taught me a lot about the side of law enforcement everyday people don't always get to see," he said. "Especially now that there is a mass distrust of the police, we as Explorers are privileged to see that the police are genuine and caring individuals."

Adams applied to the academy because "I wanted to better myself so that I can make those around me better. I don't exactly know what I'll be doing there, but I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun and I'll learn a lot, too."

As part of the instruction and experience, he does expect to learn about the DEA's leadership "and basically how to be a great leader. I want to learn how to lead so I can do just that on a higher level than I have been."

Upon his return from the academy, Adams says he'll apply what he learned and pass on the knowledge he gained to his fellow Explorers.

"There are a bunch of great young adults there that I really want to see succeed and I want to do anything I can to see that they do succeed in whatever it is that they want to accomplish," he said. "I believe I'm a good teacher and I plan to teach my fellow Explorers what I've learned through training, real world experiences and by spending time with them and growing as a family."

As an Explorer, Adams has been honored with two presidential service awards for accumulating more than 250 community service hours in one year. He's also been named in two resolutions issued by the Texas House of Representatives, a resolution by the Texas Senate and a proclamation by the Ellis County Commissioners Court for his accomplishments as a member of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office Exploring Post. Adams was a member of the four-member team that won first place overall honors at the 2014 Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Association's state competition. He also serves as a member of the post's color guard, which has been honored to present the colors for U.S. Congressman Joe Barton at several activities.

"Exploring is a great program that really goes a long way toward teaching teenagers and young adults about careers they are interested in," Adams said. "Exploring not only prepares you for your career but it also helps you become a better person. Our Exploring post is unique because we are so tightly knit. We are really like a family. And I can say the Explorers are 18 of my closest, best and truest friends."

Adams' career plans are to join law enforcement locally, either as a deputy with the Sheriff's Office ECSO or as an officer with the Waxahachie or Red Oak police departments.

"I like my hometown so I don't plan on going anywhere," he said. "After I get a few years of experience under my belt I will try and apply for positions in federal agencies like the DEA or ATF, while still trying to stay somewhat local."

Only 90 Explorers from around the nation were selected for this summer's academies sponsored by Learning for Life. In all, four Explorers from the Ellis County Sheriff's Office Exploring Post were accepted. Besides Adams, Explorer Capt. Colten Prater, Explorer Sgt. Shelby Snodgress and Explorer Sgt. Trevor Snodgress were all accepted to this summer's academies.