Internship programs allow graduates and students to exercise what they have learned in real life situations. It gives them a practical experience of what they are learning and what they should expect in the future from their profession. Internship programs are available in many sectors such as education, Industries, health, and many more. However, this essay describes the experience I had as an intern student in the police department.
Duties and Responsibilities as an Intern
As an intern in the police department, I was responsible for helping with investigation tasks by researching criminals and suspects and even keeping track of the documented cases to ensure their availability when needed. Sometimes I would be permitted to be part of the patrol units, interviews, and the crime evidence processing team. The qualifications I had as an intern could not allow me to actively participate in most of the professional responsibilities done in the police department. Therefore, I would often observe and ask questions in situations I did not understand. In addition, I had to tabulate citizens’ survey data survey results, create the monthly reports of expenditures, and perform some calculations in the recorded research data.
The objectives of an internship in a police department portray the idea of a worker in training. The interns are treated as actual staff members to understand what it means to be an employee in a police department. As an intern in the police department, I was expected to be keen on the rules governing the staff behavior in the department and adhere to the agency policies. Sometimes, one can be required to make fast, accurate decisions, for example, in accidents when saving people’s lives. Internship in police departments requires learners to be open-minded and observe a strictly professional relationship with the clients.
Reasons why the Occupation is Interesting
During the internship, I got to understand the natural work environment in a police department. It increased my interest in working in a police department bringing in the contentment of being a full member of the staff in the department. This is because, in a police department, I will have the opportunity to save the lives of many citizens and protect them from unnecessary harm and injustice because of the evidence from the field research. Sometimes, the police force can help members of society in making decisions. This is because they interact with various people such as thieves, gang members, drug addicts, and spousal abusers.
These groups of people are susceptible, and how the police interact with the people can help them make better decisions of becoming better citizens in the future. Another advantage of this sector is that there is no monotony of doing the same work every time. For example, when one is tired of the investigations, they can do other work such as patrolling.
Number of Training Programs I took Part in
During my internship at the police department, I took part in many programs that included patrolling, front desk services, vice unit team, emergency response team, financial crimes investigation, and general investigations. The patrol departments consisted of five shifts, and it provided twenty-four hours of town patrolling. There were 7 AM to 3 PM shift, 3 PM to 11 PM shift, 11 PM to 7 AM shift, and lastly, the 6 PM to 4 AM shift. Together with other staff members, I was assigned the 3 PM to 11 PM shift. During this time my work was to detect and investigate violators of curfew rules and deal with any disorder that came up from the streets. Each patrol unit consisted of about fifteen police officers working towards the same objective.
At the front desk, I received calls and dealt with telephone complaints, registering crime reports and monitoring the facility doors with the aid of a computer system. In the vice unit team, the team members investigated narcotic drugs’ unlawful use and selling. The department worked closely with the patrol team because they provided basic information about the streets. I was responsible for observing and taking notes on how the unit supervisors and team members did their work in the unit.
I could not be practically involved in the whole process because the unit was considered technical, and only experienced department members were allowed to work actively in the team. In the domestic violence unit, follow-up activities were conducted by the staff on any reported violence cases. I was assigned to record the instances and their description by the unit supervisor as the investigation continued.
The department focused on four primary areas in the general investigation unit: investigating criminal cases, storing and processing the crime scene evidence, and maintaining the criminal case files. In this department, the data is susceptible, and therefore there is a need to keep the files in places they cannot be accessed by unauthorized staff. The department is divided into seven categories, each with a different function. The units include general investigation, intelligence analysis, property, financial crime investigator, and a school resource officer. The available investigations section dealt with petty cases such as internal thefts, burglaries, and disorderly conduct. After the investigations, I would write reports that the CID supervisor would review, later deciding on the cases to be handled first and those requiring time.
The intelligence analyst collects all the evidence from investigation sources from officers who develop contacts with gang members to get their private information. The information could also be obtained from citizens who want to report some issues arising from their environs. The information received is analyzed by professionals by the use of the recorded field contact cards. The evidence from the crime scenes is recovered by evidence technicians who analyze the recorded information. I was given the responsibility of documenting the actions of the evidence experts, which would then be sent to the laboratories dealing with crime for further investigation. Some of the materials that would be taken as evidence in the crime scenes include strands of hair, blood spatter, tool marks, latent prints, and even fingerprints.
The economic crime investigator handled issues such as forgery, counterfeiting, and credit card fraud in the financial departments. Financial institutions such as banks are used to get people suspected to have been involved in financial fraud. The school resource officer helps promote positive relationships between the youth in the schools and the police departments. This unit educates the youth on law-related issues by carrying out oral presentations and classroom presentations to the child. They also help the dean and school administrators to investigate criminal activities in the school. I had the opportunity to educate the students on the importance of the police force to society and their safety.
How I Became Socialized and the Effect of the Internship in my Life and Values
The internship program I attended changed my way of thinking as well as my lifestyle. At the training, I started seeing life from a different perspective because I interacted with people from different backgrounds, both the innocent and the guilty. I got to understand why some people behave in a certain way and the importance of the police force to society. Interacting with the staff and fellow interns improved my communication skills and working with different people in different circumstances. In a police department, teamwork is of great importance because almost all the tasks ranging from the patrols to the investigations are not assigned to individuals but groups of people. It stresses the importance of working in groups, thereby instilling the value of teamwork to all the members involved in the cooperation.
The Interaction of the Staff and the Public during the Internship
The police department staffs were amicable and cautious when interacting with their colleagues. I enjoyed my entire stay at the department because I was treated as one of the staff members. There was no discrimination, and if I did not understand anything, there was always someone to give directions on how to do it. However, the community was not that friendly because I was treated as a police officer. Through observation and experience, I realized that many people in the community are afraid of the police. They have the feeling that police officers are their enemies. Only a few of them understand the importance of the police force to the community. Some people in the community felt that interns were not qualified enough to be police officers and would hardly respond to anything I told them.
The Work Environment at the Internship Site
The work environment at the police department was favorable and comfortable. There was a gym house for morning exercises and a football pitch for playing football during the day’s free time. Apart from the staff members, there were subordinate staff members who ensured that the buildings’ hygiene was satisfactory; this made the stay at the police department offices comfortable. During the workdays, the departments were always very calm, which enabled one to concentrate on their work without disturbance from external sources. However, during the investigation, for example, in places where accidents have occurred or when dealing with criminals, one must be keen to avoid a few accidents or dangers that may arise from such areas. Sometimes police work can be physically demanding and stressful because it has high rates of injuries compared to other occupations.
Types of Career Advancement Experienced in a Police Department
Career advancement exists in almost all the police department units, each with a different promotion procedure. For the first time in the police department, the officers are assigned to be patrol officers. Patrol officers have the duty of enforcing the state’s laws to the local communities, protecting the community from lawbreakers, and improving the relationship between the public and the police. After three to four years of being a patrol officer, one is promoted to a detective, depending on their work ethics.
The detective post promotion is very competitive, and therefore one of the conditions to being a detective is to have a degree in criminal justice from a recognized institution. From being a detective, one can be appointed a detective supervisor to lead the other detectives by giving them directions on the cases they are required to work on and the time limit.
A detective supervisor with time can be promoted to a police sergeant whose role is to manage and give directions in all the police fields such as traffic, crime prevention, field patrol, community relations, and many other related areas. To get this post, one must have at least fifteen years of experience in a police service unit. The police sergeant could further advance to ranks such as lieutenant, captain, commander, and finally to a commissioner. Career advancement in the police ensures a smooth running of the police departments, and continuity of workflow promotes hard work and boosts the morale of the promoted officers. Furthermore, it also increases the productivity of both the promoted staff members and the remaining staff members who may still work hard to be promoted.
How the Future Looks Like in the Police Department career
Starting from career advancement opportunities to serving the public when in need makes the law enforcement career appealing. If I get the chance in this sector, the future looks bright because I will be doing what I love most and at the same time be paid for my services. In law enforcement firms, the salary is fantastic, and this would help in supporting several projects and sorting out my family’s financial problems with ease. In police departments, one can travel from one place to another, thereby reducing the boredom of working in the same place every day.
Advice to the Youth who desire Career in the Police Department
The youths, who would like to pursue police and law enforcement as a career, I would highly recommend them to continue with their heart desires. This is because being in a police department or even a police officer has so many privileges, and one can advance in their career to a higher level. Police departments do a lot of investigations; therefore, they should be prepared to do a lot of research work as this forms the core of police forces’ tasks. Secondly, I would let them know of the dangers of being a police officer and the need to be very careful during intense operations. The internship process is purely training and learning procedure; therefore, one should understand that no payments are given to the interns. For example, as an intern at the police department, I had to cater to all my expenses.
In conclusion, an internship allows learners to explore the practicality of what they study in class. It acts as a mirror that focuses on how a student’s life will be in the future when practicing what they are currently studying. Furthermore, it can also act as a decision-making tool to help the interns decide whether they are willing to continue with their area of study. Internship helps the students know the advantages and the disadvantages of their future place of work. It also tests what the students have been studying during their academic years. Therefore, students should attend internship programs to help them make their future work decisions.