WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — At the Brass Mill Center mall in Waterbury, there is an area set up as a replica of the local police department. There’s a phone number, a front desk and a command center.

It’s all a part of the department’s commitment to its Explorer program.

“Taking it seriously is one of the biggest things you can do, because it shows that you’re here and you want to make change,” Waterbury Police Explorer Chief Melanie Adams said.

While in the program, the cadets undergo physical training and team building, along with learn how to do community policing like making arrests for driving under the influence.

And, more recently, they’ve talked about the dangers of the job, as well.

Last week, Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy were shot and killed in Bristol.

“I just try to think of more on the bright side of things,” Waterbury Police Explorer Officer Ayden Cancel said. “I do see a lot of things like that that happen, but it is in the nature that comes with a job like that.”

Those risks don’t deter the cadets.

“They do understand,” Waterbury Officer Michael Chiarella said. “It doesn’t seem to put them off any. They really want to help, they still want to get back, they still want to be law enforcement. It speaks to the resilience.”

Explorers must be between the ages of 11 and 20 to participate. An open house is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.