The University of Texas at Austin Police Department
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.