The University of Texas at Austin Police Department
Spring 2014 Site Review
Position: Recruitment Intern
Student: History Senior
When I first started my internship with The University of Texas at Austin Police Department I was given opportunity to work with the crime prevention department. When I worked with them, I would report and see if they had work for me. I did things such as putting items away in storage, filing papers, shredding documents, inputting names into a database, and miscellaneous tasks here and there. Whenever there wasn’t much work with crime prevention, I would go around to other departments and ask if they needed help with items. This is how I ended up in the recruiting department with Sgt. Jimmy Moore.
I soon realized what ‘real’ work was when I started working with Sgt. Moore, we were always on the go and constantly had assignments and deadlines to meet. I would report to work, head to Sgt. Moore’s office and there was always a sense of “we have to get to work.” He would then allow me to use all his office: his desk, his email, his phone and we would work on assignments together. What worked well between us was, Sgt. Moore would talk and I would type, I was faster than he was so he preferred that. We always worked on assignments together so it was as if I was constantly being trained, it was a very hands on experience. He allowed me to be the Recruiting Sergeant whenever I was at work; he just guided me whenever I didn’t know what to do.
With working in the recruiting department, I was able to learn office etiquette. I wrote emails that would be sent up the chain of command, I faxed papers that would be sent to other police departments, I contacted potential applicants for items they needed and to set up appointment. Most importantly, I conducted backgrounds on two officers that eventually became hired while I worked with this department; I eventually helped detectives in the department learn how to conduct backgrounds because of my new knowledge. My day was consistently spent working at the desk, going around the department and working with other employees, and even going out on work errands. The work was demanding but working with Sgt. Moore made it run by smoothly and made it become a very rewarding experience.
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: UTPD Intern
Student: Psychology/Sociology Sophomore
My internship site is the University of Texas at Austin Police Department. I am one of the three interns. I work with the Crime Prevention Unit. My times there are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9a.m. to 12p.m. and Fridays from 9a.m. to 1p.m. on Fridays. The Crime Prevention Unit consists of three people, two of whom are police officers, and the other is an administrator. My job is to assist any of them with a variety of tasks, which happen to be of a nice balance of deskwork and hands-on work. The deskwork includes sorting building access into file, which I do most often. I also organize information into the computer system, including transfer alarm reports into documents as well as enter job applications onto file.
Sometimes I accompany the officers on presentations, which are all structured differently. The first one I participate in is at the Student Activities Center for organizations fair for incoming students. We table inside a large room along with other student organizations and introduce whoever walks by to the services UTPD offers. We have also been asked to table at events like Public Health Week and Take Back the Night for Sexual Assault Awareness. First-Year Interest Groups also set up time for UTPD to talk to their students. Dorms and apartments also arrange a time for UTPD to go over and speak to residents about living safety. These are all presentations the interns get to participate in.
A particularly interesting experience is at the carnival during the week of public health week. UTPD is asked to hold a “drunk-driving booth” where participants have to drive a club cart with fatal vision goggles. Our turnout rate turns out to be flourished with young students excited to experience drunk driving. At first, the carnival seems empty and unorganized. As soon as we put out the cones, several people begin to slow down to watch and eventually ask, “Is this where you wear drunk goggles?!”
The internship also allows me the opportunity to go on ride-alongs during police patrol. During ride-alongs, I get to follow a certain police officer around during his/her patrol shift for however long I choose. Anybody can request to do this, but the intern gets to skip going through background checks every time. It is a great chance to get to know the first responders to the safety of our campus.
Fall 2013 Site Review
Position: UTPD Intern
Student: Sociology, Senior
The Day in the life of an intern with UTPD happens from the hours of 8-4pm, with the exception of the citizens’ academy, which happens from Mondays at 6-9pm, or other special events such as National Night Out, which takes place on a Saturday from about noon to 5pm. Your usual weekly hours will be completed through the Crime Prevention Unit, 8am-4pm. This is the unit you are placed in and these are the officers who will become your supervisors and be the people you spend most of your time with. These are very supportive people who know a lot about the field and are willing to answer any question you have. A typical day in the office will consist of admin work such as preparing and organizing excel sheets for the building alarms, compiling synopsis, helping prepare Campus Watch, being a help to sergeants in the department by being an actor in a training that they are doing, or simply sitting in on training. You will also spend your time out on the field (out of the office) by accompanying officers to their Crime Prevention presentations. Those are presentations which are typically given to the UT student body. An example of this would be, visiting a FIG and helping give a presentation on alcohol awareness such as the Fatal Vision Presentation, where the students learn about consequences of underage drinking in an environment with an officer where they can ask their real life questions without judgment. At the end of the presentation the students are allowed to experience the dangers of impairment from drugs and alcohol by wearing the Fatal Vision Goggles while being led through a Sobriety Field Test. Other presentations you will participate in are Star Cart, Basic Crime Prevention, and Make your Mark. A great thing about this internship is that there is always something new going on, you are not stuck in an office all day, and you are experiencing something new every time you come into the office. It is the perfect internship to learn about law enforcement and be surrounded by people who take part in it every day.