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Posted on February 5, 2015 at 12:37 PM by Jeffrey Rudinski
C Block Internship
I guess I can now officially put on my resume that I was a Wilbraham Police Department Intern. This has been one of most enriching experiences of my high school career and one that I will never forget. From creating many professional relationships to now being able to call almost every officer on the force by their first name, these are adults and mentors I will never lose connections with.
At the beginning of the semester I had the mindset of “senioritis”, but that idea vanished quickly when I became attached to my internship the very moment I was welcomed into the station on my first day. I remember being a bit nervous, trying to recall every step of the professional guidelines worksheets, and making sure that I made a great first impression. But then I started to notice that all the stereotypical things people say about cops were not true at all. They were welcoming, courteous, hilarious, and above all have huge hearts. I knew at the moment that I would not have problem being myself. Now on my first day, I noticed that there were only two women in the entire station, Lisa, and Shirley. It became my mission for the semester to prove to the officers that I worked with everyday, that another female can have an avid interest in the field of law enforcement and can also have the determination to succeed in this male dominant career.
Throughout my time at the police department, I have learned so many things that kids interested in this career this early on will not even hear about until years down the road. Being able to go on ride-alongs with the officers I have had the chance to learn how to use the radio system from the cruisers into dispatch, and have become almost proficient with some of the programs on the built in laptops. Besides working in the cruisers and out on patrol, I have had the opportunity to work with the department’s fantastic detectives. Jeff and Mike have shown me the ropes to dealing with thousands of different types of paperwork and the basics of their job within the court system. Traveling to Springfield courts, the Crime Lab and CPAC with Jeff has given me a better grasp on the options that are in this field for me. Also, by visiting these various locations I have been able to meet so many other important figures within Western Mass.
Although there may have been days when the station was very quiet and there wasn’t much to do (which is good thing in this career), I still seemed to learn something every day. My mentor, the officers and I did not strictly focus on only talking about their jobs. I was able to turn some of the professional relationships into more personal ones. I was able to ask for their opinions on school situations, college acceptances, and I could even talk to them when I needed job advice. Yes, they helped to prepare me for parts of my future career, but they also helped me in improving my everyday decisions and long term goals.
Now there are many things that I will remember from my time here at the Wilbraham Police Department, but I think one thing that will never slip my mind is the trust and faith all the officers had for me. They trusted me to test out different shifts, the evening and midnight. I was able to work with many new officers and experienced situations that rarely happen on day shift. I was so excited to have been given these opportunities that I didn’t want to waste one second of my time. Instead of doing my chores at home, I would go in for an evening shift (3pm-11pm). They showed that they had faith in me when they congratulated me on my college acceptances and told me that even though I don’t know right now which decision to make, there is no wrong one. They have faith in my success, which means the world to me.
I am sure that everyone at the department knows how much of an impact they have had on my life over this entire semester. I am grateful for all that they have taught me. At times I have wondered if I have taught them something as well. There have been many times when I have thought about how I could repay them for being all of my own individual mentors. They have become my second family and that is something that I will never forget!