Internship with Easton Police Department
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Erin Chuss

Major: Sociology:

Minor: Information Systems and Statistical Analysis (ISSA)

Hometown: Easton, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My Sociology adviser gave me a very large packet of possible internships and I looked through them for some criminal justice possibilities at police departments. I saw some in my area and then began making calls around mid-October. One of my first choices was Easton Police Department and I heard back very quickly from them. Things progressed from there

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was nothing short of exhilarating. I was excited to get up every day, even if it was at 5 a.m. on a Friday. My first day began with a tour of the city and I got to see how officers interacted with people. The traffic division showed me how to set up a speed trap and how their equipment worked, as well as how the street cameras tracked past activity to catch perpetrators. I worked with officers when they collected evidence and saw how they determined if the drugs are authentic. I was able to observe a SWAT raid on a house and a few accidents. There was also a car chase or two. The thing I learned and observed the most is that no day is the same and no two officers are the same, but they all want to make the city safer and a better place for everyone.

How did the experience impact you academically?

This internship has taught me more than any classroom ever could. I got to experience so many different types of criminology, sociology, psychology, and so much more. I also saw the things that flourished and prospered in the unit, as well as the things that could be improved. Many of these issues were common problems that towns and cities everywhere are facing. This made me realize that I was in the right field and it made me ask so many more questions.

This internship gave me a completely different insight into how things work in a police department.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My main goal is to get into the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division of the FBI. I want to get into the criminal data analysis side of the law to help people and the entire system itself. This could be to help the officers, the perpetrators (to prevent crimes), the judicial system, etc. This internship gave me a completely different insight into how things work in a police department.  This internship also showed me the day to day responsibilities of police officers and the amount of training they must receive. I was able to read a significant amount of the manual and went through many of the trainings. When I said I liked reading the manual, some of the officers thought I was crazy. But that is how I knew this was the right area for me! I realize that working for the FBI would be different because I would be working primarily with data. However, in order to know how to interpret the data, you have to have a realistic idea of how the data actually occurs. This internship showed me that and so much more.

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