Summer 2016 provided an amazing experience for me. I was granted an internship at the Richmond Police Department (RPD), during which I participated in and played a role in the daily duties of the Detectives in the City of Richmond. During the two months that I spent at RPD, I made so many connections with a variety of people involved in law enforcement, including: major crimes personnel, attorney’s, the Chief of Police, and federal agents in both the FBI and Homeland Security.
Not only did I connect with law enforcement personnel, but I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with some individuals who have made considerably poor life choices and landed themselves in the Justice Center. One gentleman in particular that I met really opened up to me, told me his story, and promised me that when he got out of jail that he would change his lifestyle. This experience, in my opinion, was very life changing for me because it provided me with more insight into the thoughts, feelings, and the lives of the people we most often just categorize as “criminals.”
Over the course of the internship there were a few different tasks/projects that I had to complete. When I first started, I had to familiarize myself with most of the homicide cases that were going to be presented in court by reading several case files. With that, I also had to recognize how the case files were put together so that I could arrange some of my own for other homicides that had not yet developed.
I learned how to navigate the RPD database system in which all relevant information about any given case, or persons involved in the case, was provided. Eventually, I was permitted access into weekly Intel meetings where all police personnel, including those from all Richmond police precincts, came to headquarters to relay all of the relevant crimes in the city, and present possible solutions to prevent these crimes from recurring.
Apart from the every day seriousness of the crimes and court cases, I was given the opportunity to participate in some other activities, one of which sparked my interest and helped me decide what I want to do when I enter the field of law enforcement. I got to sit in on and participate in weekly negotiator trainings. These sessions included a team of experienced police personnel who worked with the SWAT team and practiced strategies for alleviating and successfully removing people from severe hostage situations.
I had the opportunity to ride in an airplane that is used in police pursuits and participated in “shoot-don’t shoot” simulations that are used to train police recruits in the training academy.
The one thing, however, that I found to be the most intriguing and helped me decide what I want to do in law enforcement was when I visited the K-9 Unit. It was amazing to watch the K-9 police train their dogs to patrol and search for drugs. I fell in love with the mere thought of, one day, taking up this career. That being said, I am forever grateful for the opportunities given to me by the Richmond Police Department, and for providing me with networks and experiences that will drive me towards my goal of a career in law enforcement.[/fusion_text]