Internship Experience at the Muncie Police Department
Institution of Learning
Internship Experience at the Muncie Police Department
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Professional Experience in Criminal Justice Spring 2016
1. The Internship Agency 2
A. The Muncie Police Department 2
B. The Muncie Police Department’s Mission 3
C. Characteristics of the Muncie Police Department 3
D. The Muncie Police Department’s Organization within the Criminal Justice System 6
2. Curriculum, Stress Management, Career Decision-Making, and Ethics 7
A. Curriculum and Internship 8
B. Stress Management 9
C. Making Decisions about Careers 10
D. Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making 11
3. Reflecting on the Internship Experience 12
A. Internship Objectives 12
B. UCC Capstone Transformations 15
C. On-Site Meeting 17
D. Mid-Term Meeting 18
4. Evaluation of the Internship Experience 18
A. Satisfactory aspects of the Internship Experience 18
B. Limitations of the Internship Experience 19
C. Meaningfulness 20
D. How I Could Have Made the Internship Experience more Meaningful 21
E. Reflecting on Your Evaluation 22
F. Summary of my Experience 23
Internship Experience at the Muncie Police Department
1. The Internship Agency
A. The Muncie Police Department
Although the city of Muncie was founded in 1865, many more years had passed before a police department was established in this society. In the early 20th century, the city was served by the statewide police department that was created for Indiana. This state established an own police department in 1921: this division comprised six officers, who lacked any specialized training. In the early 1930s, the unit was expanded to serve the growing population and trade, but more emphasis was put on the safety of transportations. Later on, with the growth of the economy, society, and commerce, the city of Muncie acquired an own police department in order to enforce the law and ensure the public safety. With time, this department has grown and improved in specialization, personnel, and equipment; currently, it is headed by Steve Stewart. The unit also has many divisions, which include crime stoppers, criminal investigation, parking enforcement, detectives, and domestic violence group among others.
B. The Muncie Police Department’s Mission
The Muncie Police Department has a mission of improving the life of communities living in its area of jurisdiction. This department aims at establishing and nurturing a working partnership between it and the community with the view to ensuring that the community is protected. The department also encourages members of the public to take individual and collective responsibility and collaborate with it n order to ensure that homes, streets, and neighborhoods are safe and secure. It is committed to the general wellbeing of the Muncie community through the provision of responsive services. The department works with the view to achieving this mission by ensuring that all preventable criminal activities are prevented while criminals who break the law are arrested and charged according to the law. This strategy strives to dissuade individuals from engaging in illegal activities. As a result, the community is assured that any person who breaks the law will be punished.
C. Characteristics of the Muncie Police Department
In general, it is difficult to count the number of officers or personnel in a police department. It is so partly because such information is not released to the public; moreover, the community of law enforcers is composed of the transitory population. Officers are hired according to departments’ need; thus, they the staff may be either increased or decreased according to the changes in the demand. In turn, once in a while, some officers may leave the service to pursue other career opportunities.
Various employees in this department perform different roles; for instance, the emergency response team reacts to distress calls in the case of a burglary and carjacking among others. On the other hand, criminal investigators ensure that people, who break the law, are identified and that there is enough evidence to support a trial in a court of justice against the guilty. The same role is also carried out by a division of detectives in this department. Moreover, there is a narcotics unit that works towards arresting drug peddlers. Some other divisions include domestic investigations that are concerned with the prevention and prosecution of domestic violence, as well as a gun permit processing unit.
The Muncie Police Department has several units and divisions, all of which are important for the maintenance of the law and order in the area. They include crime stoppers division, detective division, domestic violence investigation division, and gun permit and investigation division. Others include victims’ advocates, uniform, training, records, and parking enforcement units. This department has a narcotics unit that deals with the prevention and investigation of drug crimes. It also has a front desk where members of the public can report or make inquiries about various issues. In such a manner, they are timely and clearly advised on which department to consult. Members of the public are encouraged to make their complaints and air out any concerns at this desk. Moreover, here, people that wish to talk to department’s leadership are advised. Some are directed to sergeant’s office while others are directed to the chief’s office. All these divisions and units have a hotline that is given to members of the public, who may wish to make calls.
The Muncie Police Department has several facilities and equipment that are needed to make their policing work easier. They include buildings, which are used as offices and homes for police officers. They also have vehicles and motorcycles, which are used for ensuring the mobility of the reaction team, as well as firearms that are required to deal with armed offenders. The department also has the communication equipment that is used in the coordination of efforts of officers on the ground. It comprises computers and phones with the Internet coverage so that members of the public can contact stations at any time day or night. Computers are also used for keeping internal records. The department has specialized equipment to be used for criminal investigations. This department also has armored trucks and assault rifles, body armor, body cameras, and other special equipment. Nevertheless, the police cannot use this class unless with permission from the Pentagon. The department can also access helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department when there is a need to respond rapidly in the Muncie city. In such cases, the goal is to react in a timely manner and avert the possible loss of life or destruction of property.
The budget of this police department is submitted to the city for the scrutiny and final approval. However, the department rarely receives funds in cash. In line with the state’s pattern, it receives equipment from the city controller. The equipment is purchased through the open and competitive tendering. Additionally, all officers and other personnel in the department are paid by the city via the same controller.
The Muncie Police Department, as a civilian institution, lacks a comprehensive table of organization as would be expected of the military establishment. However, the department has a formal multi-layered organizational structure that is headed by the chief of police. In the hierarchy, the chief is followed by the sergeant and heads of all divisions and units. Teams of officers are subordinate to these heads.
D. The Muncie Police Department’s Organization within the Criminal Justice System
The Muncie Police Department has its mandate from the United States, through the states of Indiana, and the country of Delaware. The laws and provisions of all these entities envisage the protection of people and maintenance of the law and order. These entities are empowered by people of the US, Indiana, and Delaware County.
The criminal justice system comprises three distinct bodies: the police, the court system, and correction facilities. Police departments are important because here, criminal proceedings begin. In such a manner, without them, many criminals would never face justice. In this system, police departments are still important as they are the units that facilitate investigations so that legal proceedings can be sustained and offenders can be punished according to the law. Without this crucial component of the criminal justice working well, criminals would go unpunished if investigations are not well done.
Police departments are also important as they are able to trace and safely arrest offenders with the minimum injury. Otherwise, there would be more instances of the public taking the law into their own hands and causing unwarranted injury or even death of the suspects. Conversely, offenders could also injure or kill civilians if they attempted to perform arrests. Additionally, the police presence and patrols are also important in that they dissuade potential criminals from breaking the law. The police response to issues such as burglaries, robberies, carjacking, and instances of domestic violence also help in reducing the potential damage of criminal acts.
As seen earlier, the police work in cooperation with courts and correctional facilities with the view to ensuring that perpetrators and victims of illegal activities receive justice. Each police department collaborates with the neighboring police units and sheriffs in order to bridge gaps and overcome challenges that result from the restricted jurisdiction. If a criminal escapes to an area that is controlled by a different police department or a sheriff, this person can be arrested and handed over so that criminal proceedings can still take place.
The police department is usually a crucial element of the criminal justice that is closer to the communities than any other establishment of the system. Here, members of the public can report illegal activities or make distress calls when being threatened or in danger of criminals. The community also reports to the police such issues as missing individuals and children. Officers can find ways of tracing such persons. The police secure the general safety of the community by ensuring that people obey traffic rules, park their vehicles appropriately, and do not expose children to drugs, among many other issues. In the case of violent mass actions or ethnically instigated violence, the police are the first to interfere and respond with the view to protecting the human life and property. Being able to fulfill this duty requires officers to be politically and ethnically neutral and always uphold the law.
The police are also important to the communities as they monitor people that may be planning to break the law. When such investigations are successful, they are able to prevent the crime. For example, there are many instances when the police obtain warrants to search suspects or premises for any illegal things or evidence of criminal plans. A significant number of planned crimes are never implemented due to the efforts of the law enforcers. Their work eases the burden on the community and benefits other elements of the criminal justice.
2. Curriculum, Stress Management, Career Decision-Making, and Ethics
A. Curriculum and Internship
During the internship, it became clear that the law and psychology were the most important courses for a police officer. It is so simply because the core mandate of the police is to protect the law and ensure that every member of the society follows the rule so that all people can peacefully coexist. I also held the opinion that criminology was paramount in the police work as it helped in the investigation and arrest of offenders. From the onset and throughout the period, I have found out that critical thinking is important as it can contribute to making the law enforcement proactive in dealing with various problems that emerge in the course of their duty.
During the internship, I have realized that communication is very important since the police need to cooperate closely with the local community. It is important to communicate with the members of the public effectively because they can influence the outcome of the work performed by the police. Still, in my interaction with other parties in the criminal justice, the supervisor insisted that I always used professional terms; I was also supposed to use them in my reports. Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are imperative in the police work and were employed by me. For instance, police officers are required to think critically and analytically and do it prior to making any action. This issue is critical because one deed of a law enforcer, for instance, an arrest, initiates a chain of other, including an investigation and trial. If the first action is not well thought-out, the entire process will be unsuccessful.
During the internship, factors that contribute to the crime were highlighted and emphasized. I have learned about the importance of sensitizing people to be educated and jump any legal opportunities with the view to improving their living standards, which are import in reducing the number of crime incidences.
B. Stress Management
Like any other occupation, working in a police department can be stressing. Conducting all the duties of an officer requires a lot of physical and mental strength. Every law enforcer strives to ensure that the community lives peaceful, ill-minded individuals are prevented from breaking the law, and criminals are brought to justice according to the law. During my internship in the Muncie Police Department, I realized that additional stress could be caused by to exposure to conditions that could threaten the health or be potentially injurious to an officer. On the other hand, police enforcers can also be stressed due to boredom, as well. Furthermore, officers are required to do their best to ensure the safety of their workmates. They are also exposed to emotional situations that are occasioned by regularly responding to people in distress. All these conditions are potentially stressful and can cause the drain to officers.
At the Muncie Police Department, stress commonly arises from the exposure to health and safety threats; nevertheless, boredom and the need to ensure the security of colleagues are also strong stress factors. I have also considered that these issues are stressful. Even though I did not find myself in any extremely pressing condition, the routine made me unable to work quickly and efficiently. In the case of other officers, stress made them take some days off. In addition, the employer provided such employees with health benefits so that they could seek professional help in the case of extremely stressful conditions.
I was nearly stressed in some other instances, for example, when police officers restrained unruly offenders and crowds in my presence. As a result, my enthusiasm for working as a law enforcement officer has considerably reduced. First, I sympathized with such offenders although I recognized that some had to be arrested. Apart from the reduced enthusiasm for joining the police in the future, such stressful occurrences did not have any other effect on me.
C. Making Decisions about Careers
Possessing some background information in criminal justice and having gone for an internship in the Muncie Police Department, I have acquired a clear understanding from both perspectives: theoretical and practical ones. Now, I am in a position to make a better decision concerning the career I would like to choose.
The internship was rather beneficial as I was able to comprehend the correlation between criminology, psychology, and psychiatry. Additionally, I have realized that sociology, psychology, and the law are closely interrelated. Sociology and psychology are crucial for the understanding how criminals behave and what motivates them. I was able to witness that such issues as the negative peer pressure, illiteracy, poverty, and drug abuse are important contributors to crime rates. These factors can encourage one to become a criminal.
On the other hand, just as drugs impacts people’s judgments and make them break the law, they can also impair an officer’s judgment and encourage him or her to arrest the wrong person or press groundless charges. I realized that it was crucial for criminal investigators to stay clear-headed and make only objective judgments. A rushed decision can lead to the wrong person being prosecuted and serving a jail term; such a scenario is extremely undesirable. Additionally, criminal investigators need to examine crime scenes, suspects, and victims precisely and objectively. It is vital and may help reconstruct the crime and understand what happened. Since the police might not always achieve this aim, criminal justice lawyers have a mandate of ensuring that only wrongdoers are punished and are punished according to the law.
The internship has deeply anchored me into the career and has helped me understand that there is a need for criminal justice in the society. It is critical since crime scenes and prosecutions are usually complicated and may lead to the wrong person serving a jail term. The training and the internship have helped me to appreciate this career so that I can become a role model for the society in terms of ensuring that both victims and offenders receive justice. I would like to protect the safety of the community and their property, as well as to ensure that suspects have a fair trial. Moreover, I would like to sensitize people to fight against illiteracy, poverty, and drugs as, under such circumstances, individuals are usually unable to make right choices.
D. Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making
Ethics refers to the expected code of conduct in an organization. At the Muncie Police Department, the department greatly emphasized the safety of the community was by strategizing various ways of protecting the community. Additionally, justice as the basis principle of the police ethics was prioritized.
However, just as in other members of the disciplined forces, professional ethics was not majorly emphasized. It was presumed that every officer should follow professional conduct at an individual level. Professionalism is valued in the police circles since they consider themselves the gatekeepers of the justice system.
I have learned that although professionalism is a form of ethics, there is a need to expand its meaning. In such a manner, police officers should learn to be neutral towards the suspects while conducting investigations. Otherwise, they are less likely to get objective evidence against offenders. Additionally, officers should ensure that they are not under the influence of any substances while conducting their duties.
Generally, I have introduced and pushed forward environmental ethics. I advocated for the adoption of electronic records instead of the use of paper, the production of which destroys the world’s forest resources. It is one of the decisions that I made differently. In addition, I advocated the efficient use of resources without waste and with recycling whenever possible. A presentation about the environmental justice is to be delivered as people in public services should understand and utilize various ways of saving the environment. With time, this steps needs to be conducted as a part of their professional code of ethics so that it is not left to conservationists. In offices of various police departments, the storage of information on digital devices reduces the use of paper; thus, it needs to be encouraged. Additionally, these units are supposed to utilize resources in a sustainable manner. The police need to expand their emphasis from the protection of communities to the protection of suspected lawbreakers, as well as the environment.
3. Reflecting on the Internship Experience
A. Internship Objectives
Learning institutions design internship in a way to allow students to experience the practical side of their training. Despite various learning reconstructions that may be available in the classroom and laboratory settings, there is always need to engage in the on-site practice in order to become able to apply acquired knowledge in the field. Internships are also important As they enrich the learner’s perspective. in such a manner, students are able to learn various aspects and applications of different theories by professionals in practice. Moreover, they assist students in experiencing the current trends in the field that have evolved since the last review of the learning curriculum. For instance, the U.S. criminal justice has always been developing ahead of the curriculum review. A good example may include laws that required heroin addicts to be arrested and charged in courts. However, this scenario has been reviewed over time. In such a manner, some new laws enable such criminals to seek medical and psychosocial assistance to enable them to fight against addiction. Additionally, trends in crimes have been changing, as well. For example, they shifted from the criminal gangs famous in the 1990s and terror activities and drug trafficking in the 2000s to instances of mass shootings in the recent past. In most cases, curriculum reviews follow the major changes in these patterns. In line, students are provided with a perfect opportunity to learn new trends. Internships are also designed in a way to help learners align their expectations and training to what is experienced in the real-life setting. This strategy enables them to have a smooth transition once they leave the educational institution and get absorbed in the job market. It is also prepared in a way to allow students to compare their expectations with realities of the career. In the future, they will be able to decide whether they are still interested in pursuing the career of their choice or they would consider changing it.
Personally, I feel that the internship was successful as I managed to achieve most of the above objectives. For me, the class work provided knowledge that is required by one to work efficiently in the area of the law enforcement, in general, and criminal justice, in particular. However, the internship experience was valuable as I was able to understand where and how to apply this information, as well as where to avoid it. Moreover, the internship demonstrated different factors that come into play in the law enforcement and criminal justice. It was easy to understand that criminology should go hand-in-hand with sociology and psychology. While working to keep a community safe, it is crucial to help people understand issues that may threaten their safety. These problems include poverty and illiteracy, which may make some individuals or groups engage in criminal activities. Communities also need to be taught that drugs and other substances that impair human’s judgments may also compromise their safety. In my internship, I have learned that the study of crime scenes needs to be done carefully and by officers, who are well trained and clear-headed. Additionally, a close examination of victims, suspects, and witnesses is required for ensuring that officers do not arrest and charge wrong people.
I was able to learn about the current trends in the criminal justice. However, it should be noted that the criminal justice is rather static and does not change as quickly as other areas do, especially the nature and forms of crimes. In terms of emerging trends, I have found out that officers and the police departments do not take the issue of the environmental justice and conservation seriously. In such a manner, they are interested only in developing the best ways of ensuring that the community and its property are kept safe. Although it was beyond the scope of the internship objectives, I delivered a presentation about the environmental justice and conservation. Moreover, I emphasized that the department had to ensure that its activities were environmentally friendly.
The internship also enabled me to align my expectations with the realities of a career in the law enforcement. When I observed how officers restrained violent and unruly offenders, my enthusiasm to join the profession in the future had significantly decreased. However, this experience has helped me understand that some people are not responsible citizens and can use force to resist arrest after committing a crime. Others can abuse constitutional freedoms with the view to injure or kill people or even destroy property during peaceful demonstrations. On the other hand, I have developed my interest and admiration of a career in this area due to the fact that I have witnessed how law enforcement officers acted like discipline masters for the society and made the community feel safe and protected.
This opportunity helped me to compare my expectations about the career with the reality in the field. I have understood that there were some drastic differences between what I expected, what I learned, and what I experienced during my internship. However, I have found out a few similarities in my ideas and the reality. Some of the experiences in the field made me fear the real practice. As a result, my enthusiasm for working in the area of the law enforcement has significantly reduced. On the other hand, other issues; for example, the dedication of officers towards ensuring the safety of the community by all means has strengthened my desire to work in this area.
Finally, my internship has taught me to act professionally especially as far as reporting is concerned. Although I had learned a number of technical terms in my classes, my supervisor insisted that I always used the right professional terms. In general, the internship achieved all the objectives that were set. Additionally, I have been able to learn some valuable information that was absent in the list of goals.
B. UCC Capstone Transformations
The professional conduct refers to one behaving in line with the working requirements. In every job, there is a certain way that workers are supposed to follow when approaching different issues, as well as when communicating with colleagues at various levels, seniors, members of the community, and other consumers of their services. The professional conduct may be considered to be related to the workplace ethics, which sets the requirements for the employees’ behavior. It helps regulate the conduct of all people working in a setup, in which the way of doing things is established. In line, all workers in an organization at hand are required to follow this code of conduct. It also helps to standardize services provided by various workers.
A professional code comprises professional attitudes, values, and beliefs. The term attitude refers to one’s disposition, tendency, or manner, usually as seen by others concerning a subject at hand. The professional attitude requires that one behaves in a way that shows a positive attitude towards the codes of conduct. One should show a consistent tendency of upholding and following the accepted code of conduct. On the other hand, values reflect a person’s ideals of performance. It may also reflect one’s personal or group view of what is considered significant. Professional values refer to what is believed to be important in a professional team. Usually, groups develop values in order to assist their members in achieving their goals in the most efficient manner. On the other hand, beliefs may be seen as a conviction. Professional beliefs simply refer to what an organization holds as true.
Police officers have a responsibility to behave themselves professionally in order to conduct their duties well. They have to possess and follow a code of conduct, belief, and value system that enables them to keep members of public and their properties safe. They must also be productive team players that complement efforts of other components of the law enforcement system. In the Muncie Police Department, the professional values, code of conduct, and beliefs system are derived from the U.S. Constitution and that of the state of Indiana. For instance, the department believes that all the communities they serve have a right to live in a safe environment, in which each citizen follows the law. It is seen in the department’s mission statement. Being members of the disciplined forces, officers also have a code of conduct and values that are meant to assist them in achieving their mission. Their code of conduct includes, for instance, mutual respect and being responsible for the partners’ safety. This code is strictly followed by every member. The general attitude towards their code of conduct is positive as most of them value the security and protection of the community and their workmates. In general, each officer’s attitude toward the others, as well as towards the professional code of conduct, is characterized by individual differences.
Despite these variations, most police officers perfectly demonstrate high values and belief in the US and state laws. Moreover, they follow their commitment to serve the community. The Muncie Police Department, for instance, has a user-friendly website where it is able to communicate with the members of the society about various issues. In this website, the department has provided its emergency contacts, via which people can reach any division or unit. Additionally, this website features information about missing children, as well as wanted individuals. In line, members of the society are encouraged to cooperate with it with the view to keeping neighborhoods safe. In order to minimize the response time, the department has created an online database service for the public to upload any relevant information. Such data include the location of their homes and the floor plans of their apartments, as well as any other information that can assist the police in responding timely and effectively when the need be.
In this department, the interaction with mates is kept very cordial and yet professional. Each officer is responsible for the health and safety of others. This police department also demonstrates a lot of commitment to the communities’ security with its mission statement and other activities as it was already explained in this paper. In line, criminal justice employees and educators are treated as colleagues. The role of these professionals is considered important in complementing and supporting the efforts of the police. In most cases, the police defend innocent civilians and ensure that offenders are punished. On the other hand, it may seem that the work of the criminal justice professionals is aimed at allowing law offender to receive lenient punishment or avoid taking on responsibility. This supposition usually generates some tension between these employees and the police.
C. On-Site Meeting
Various issues were discussed at the on-site meetings, including networking and learning how various professionals communicate in this setup. At school, one usually meets and closely interacts with classmates, who are taking the same course. However, the internship has offered me an opportunity to meet people with different training backgrounds. They included criminal investigators, people that protected rights of various social groups and children, and prosecutors. I attended court proceedings and was able to see how various professionals work in this setup. On the onsite meeting, the importance of establishing working relationships with different specialists was emphasized. It was also crucial to established contacts with these specialists such that one could call them whenever there was a need to clarify anything. Such ability was vital for one’s career and professional development. Maintaining contacts with different specialists was emphasized as well as asking for the clarification when it was needed.
D. Mid-Term Meeting
During the midterm meeting, networking was further emphasized: the importance of establishing and maintaining contacts with various people in the profession was prioritized. In addition, it is important to understand how each group works and how the effort of each member compliments that of others in the law enforcement system. The professional development was also encouraged. It is crucial for any officer to act like a professional and gain practical experience of how this aim is to be achieved. Taking up some responsibilities was encouraged. Moreover, officers were advised to ask colleagues and seniors concerning how the task in question was supposed to be accomplished efficiently and appropriately. I took up the responsibility of writing reports. My seniors emphasized how important the use of professional terms in it was. Otherwise, the use of regular English terminology in my writing would have made it have a very different meaning from what was intended.
4. Evaluation of the Internship Experience
A. Satisfactory aspects of the Internship Experience
The internship had provided few satisfactory experiences. Among them, I was able to learn several things that enabled me to behave like a professional and not a student as when I had begun the internship. At the Muncie Police Department, I was mentored and given responsibilities that demanded the cooperation with officers. I was taught how to report, as well as how to write a professional report. Additionally, the court proceedings were a valuable part of the learning process; I was able to see how various participants fulfilled different roles. Having established contacts with some of these officers, I was able to ask a number of questions with the view to clarifying some issues. In such a manner, at the end of the internship experience, I felt being able to take some of the professional roles performed by law enforcement officers and carry them out in a satisfactory way.
In addition to responsibilities to report and write a report, I was involved in patrol work. Therefore, I have learned that police officers take the responsibility of their colleagues’ safety very seriously. I was given an opportunity to find out how to use an official firearm and means of transportation, as well as communication and reporting equipment. Additionally, I had a unique possibility to learn how to use various equipment utilized in stations and patrol vehicles.
Another discovery was the fact that the police officers did not treat me like a student but like a professional; they always considered my opinion. One of the most profound issues was my suggestion to minimize traditional paperwork and replace it with digital documentation that posed no threat to the environment. Additionally, my proposals of using resources efficiently with the view to reducing and always recycling them whenever possible were appreciated with a lot of enthusiasm. This experience made me feel that the police officers believed that I also had some viable ideas that could be used for the improvement and preservation of the environment.
B. Limitations of the Internship Experience
There were also various downsides to my internship experience. Among them, there were periods of no activities when officers had not been engaged for a long time and waited for somebody to report something. Although it was a positive trend for the community, in general, it caused extended boredom where there was no activity. As seen earlier, boredom is one of the most important causes of stress for many officers. Another downside of this experience was seen during the patrol work whereby I was always worried for my safety and that of my colleagues. This anxiety emerged despite the fact that my workmates were trained to take care of themselves and their partners, as well as interns. However, due to the fact that I was not used to some stressful experiences, I found myself worried.
From a criminal justice perspective, I had some negative experiences in that most of the police officers believed that much attention was to be given to the law-abiding members of the society. Consequently, little effort was made for ensuring that the punishment of offenders was fair. Due to their value and belief, most police officers asserted that the highest possible punishment should be given to the criminals. In line, a few advocated other means employed by the penitentiary system. In the discussions concerning such trends, some officers mostly felt that other forms of the criminals’ rehabilitation undermined the safety of the community.
Other negative experiences are that the intern could be tiring and demanding; it could be stressful. Additionally, responding to distress calls and witnessing some emotional scenes was a major downside to my internship experiences. Additionally, some crimes were very complicated, for example, the cases of domestic violence. Still, even though the internship offered me a great opportunity to study peculiarities of law criminology, I learned very little if anything concerning sociology and psychology that were very important factors in the criminal justice.
In the Muncie Police Department, my experience was largely successful and educative. However, I did not have enough time to spend with certain divisions. For this reason, I did not get to know how some units, for example, the child protection and criminal investigations, work. The staff members that I worked with were welcoming, and most were willing to answer the majority of questions I had. The supervisor also was helpful and provided me with a position, at which I was able to learn the most. The supervisor always insisted on professionalism in the interpersonal communication and preparation of documents. The faculty supervisor was also helpful and insisted that field internships were important in supplementing the theoretical information learned in the class setting.
The professor made my experience meaningful by asserting that any knowledge obtained in the class was to be applied in practice in various situations encountered during the internship. As a result, I went to the internship looking for different situations that needed the skills that I had developed in the class setting.
In general, the internship experience was extremely successful. Probably, there is no specific area, in which my experience could have been made better. However, I recognize that there is always room for the improvement even if I may not be able to point a specific domain where this could have been done. In line, I would have appreciated to experience and try working in all divisions and units at the Muncie Police Department. Moreover, the supervisor could have made it happen or make such arrangements for other interns in the future.
D. How I Could Have Made the Internship Experience more Meaningful
I could have made my experience at the Muncie Police Department more meaningful by going through the reports and experiences of people, who had spent their internship at police stations. By doing so, I would have been in a better position to understand what to expect and act accordingly. It is true despite the fact that no internship experience can be similar to that of another person. Currently, although I believe that my internship experience at the Muncie Police Department was helpful and meaningful, I do not have another person, to whom I could compare.
Moreover, I would have taken a personal initiative in order to understand the role of each unit and division beyond what the supervisor told me. However, in general, I appreciate my effort in the department and believe that the experience was more than satisfactory as for the first time.
Later, I realized that there were differences between those who went to police departments and those who chose other institutions such as correctional facilities. Initially, I did not ask whether there was any difference, as well as whether there were potential advantages and disadvantages of each of these options. I would also have asked the professor whether and how it was better to go to a police department as compared with the prison facility. Before the internship, I was largely laidback in terms of gaining information on where to go for my internship. However, despite all these issues, I have gained valuable knowledge and experience. I was able to appraise my choice of career due to my experiences during the internship. The information was largely valuable, and I realized that I was on the right path as far as my career aspirations were concerned. However, despite the recognition that I could have done more, the internship experience was successful, and I was able to gain practical skills required in the area of criminal justice.
E. Reflecting on Your Evaluation
In the evaluation, various parties, including the professor and the organizations supervisor, were interested in finding out whether I had gained any valuable practical experience. All of them suggested that I followed an academic view of things and suggested that I needed to go forward to becoming a professional. In addition to the knowledge that I had acquired in the class, it was important to gain practical experience. The evaluation teams made me focus on how to apply the information learned in the class as I continued to earn practical experience in the field.
Their perception surprised me as they all insisted that I acted like a true professional. In this setting, much emphasis was made on the right application of knowledge rather than in the acquisition of the same. This scenario sharply contrasted with my earlier expectations where I thought that I would need to get more knowledge. The supervisor from the Muncie Police Department insisted that I took up professional roles, which included reporting and preparation of reports. Moreover, I had to use professional terms. In addition, I was taught processes that were specific to this profession. They included handling firearms and communication equipment, as well as vehicles for patrols. In this setting, I was no longer a student but a professional or an apprentice in the field.
The form of criticism offered through the evaluation was positive in that it focused on what had to be done rather than what was not done. In addition, it involved suggestions on how things could have been improved. I took the criticism positively and tried to follow all the suggestions. I strived to approach things in a professional way and to seek more help to achieve the aim. This form of criticism enabled me to handle things in a better way. It was a strong encouragement to do profoundly better and face challenges earlier.
F. Summary of my Experience
The Muncie Police Department is located in the state of Indiana, and the county of Delaware. This department was created to serve the people of the Muncie city. Although this city was founded over 200 years ago, the history of this department was much shorter. This unit has a mission of ensuring the general safety of the communities that are living in the Muncie city by ensuring that all people follow the law. The police department derives its mandate from the people of the US and the state of Indiana through their respective government.
My internship at this police department was important in that it assisted me in understanding how the knowledge obtained in class was supposed to be applied in the law enforcement with the view to ensuring that the society remains safe. Through the internship, I have understood that it is crucial to understand the relationship between the law, criminology, psychology, and sociology. I have also learned how criminal justice works by preventing crime and ensuring that criminals are punished according to the law. Moreover, I have realized how important it is to dissuade members of the public from engaging in crime.
The experience of working in a criminal justice department is tough, and one could witness extremely emotional and traumatizing scenes. Additionally, the police may have to use force in order to arrest and restrain offenders, which can be injured in the process. A career in criminal justice can also be boring and stressful; in addition, it requires one to take care of partners’ safety. All these factors served to erode my enthusiasm for having a career in criminal justice partially. On the other hand, police officers have the unique ability and training to ensure the safety and security of the community, as well as to be moral role models for the community. They also help to keep the law enforcement system functioning. These points have strengthened my decision to continue pursuing a career in criminal justice and serve the community.
Agency Name: Muncie Police Department
Intern Name: ________________________________________
Internship Year: 2016
Job Responsibilities Projects/Special Work Assignments
I was supposed to ride along a uniformed officer throughout the day (8 hours) in order to learn how officers work day is like.
I was supposed to be very observant; I was required to keenly observe victims and suspects. I was also required to listen to suspects and victims to predict the outcome of scenarios and try to arrive at conclusions.
I was required to report and also compile professional reports.
I would visit court proceedings to familiarize with the processes.