Through a SAPD internship, a UHV student prepares for crime scene work.
Marilyn Medina, an intern with the San Antonio Police Department, learns something new every day as she moves between various departments to develop a broad grasp of law enforcement.
Medina, a sophomore criminal justice student from San Antonio at the University of Houston-Victoria, sees the internship as valuable experience toward her goal of becoming a crime scene investigator.
“It’s been a very excellent experience with the police force,” Medina said, “and it’s given me a viewpoint that not everyone gets to see.”
She must spend a total of 140 hours throughout her semester-long internship watching the work of policemen in various sections of the police department. So far, she’s met cops who work in a variety of units and substations across San Antonio, including crime scene investigations, financial crimes, normal patrol, drugs, traffic deaths, and more.
“Every day is a bit different,” she said. “I’ve already worked with a few units, and I believe they’ve all been beneficial learning experiences.” Having the opportunity to be a part of this and watch all that goes on has been an eye-opening experience.”
She’s gained a better grasp of neighbourhood concerns as well as a stronger regard for the human aspect of the police officers she’s met and worked with.
“Every day, it’s the individuals that make it a lot more fascinating,” she said.
Officers’ workdays are also made more fascinating by the interns, who get to hear civilian viewpoints on various situations, according to Sara Munoz, the recruiter who runs SAPD’s internship programme. SAPD additionally promotes its internship programme as an investment in the department’s future force as well as these students.
“These internships offer students a taste of this area of work and help them decide whether it’s something they want to pursue,” Munoz added.
For a student interested in forensics, an internship with a law enforcement agency is ideal, but internship opportunities are rare, according to Amy Hatmaker, director of UHV Career Services, where Medina works part-time as a student.
“That’s what makes it so exciting,” Hatmaker said, “because chances like that are uncommon for kids who want to work in law enforcement in other capacities than as officers.” “Marilyn wants to work as a crime scene investigator, but internships in that field are few. As a result, I was ecstatic when I spotted that job ad.”
Medina is the first UHV student to conduct an internship at SAPD, according to Hatmaker and Munoz.
“This curriculum that they developed in San Antonio is fantastic. “She gets to go along with nearly all of the various units and watch how things are done in the field,” Hatmaker said.
Medina got interested in becoming a crime scene investigator after taking forensics and anatomy courses in high school, as well as a law enforcement endorsement, where she learned how to conduct foot casts and fingerprints. She aspires to work for the FBI one day.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years,” she said, “so I felt like I needed that exposure to validate that this is something I want to keep doing.” “And this internship has really opened my eyes and made me understand that this is something I could picture myself doing for the rest of my life,” says the intern.
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