James Henry, Contributing Writer
Before entering the internship program with the University Police at the beginning of the semester, I didn’t have a strong idea of what to expect. I was told of the things I might do, what I could possibly expect and was given the “run-down” on the operations and activities of the University Police Department at SUNY Oneonta. Working with UPD as an intern I have developed a more profound understanding of, as well as an overall appreciation for the department. I’ve learned that you can’t fully understand all of the functions of UPD until you’ve received a first-hand experience with them. Additionally, coming in without a great idea of what I would learn, do and experience has undoubtedly enhanced my time working with UPD.
So, what may you expect as an intern for the university police at SUNY Oneonta? First and foremost, a valuable experience. If you are looking for a career in law enforcement or in Criminal Justice, interning for UPD is ideal. Through working with the dispatchers, officers, sergeants, lieutenants and anyone else that works for the department, you truly get a hands-on feel of what it would be like to have a career in criminal justice. Before I started my internship I hadn’t realized just how many functions that the university police are responsible for. Being a police department located on a university, they have many more functions than agencies located elsewhere. Through these many responsibilities, I have been able to see how a department like this must be functionally diverse. This diversity was something that made me really understand and appreciate the UPD.
To familiarize one more with the functions of an intern, I can explain some of the duties pertaining to the program. A typical day could be working in dispatch, doing a ride-a-long with one of the officers or sergeants, learning the responsibilities of the staff, learning the processes of how officers perform their duties, or a combination of some or all of these. Some days at UPD may be slow while others may be busy. You learn that just comes with the job. Ultimately, you will learn, see and experience what it is like to work in law enforcement and more importantly, you meet some good people along the way.