Through out my one hundred and twenty-hour experience with the Gloversville Police Department, I learned many skills, values and the ways of this Police Department. Many of the calls and situations I went to often could relate to a certain theory that I learned in any of my law classes. I would recommend any student majoring in Criminal Justice to try to take an internship with a local law enforcement agency. I am currently signed up for the civil service test for Gloversville Police Department, If I do qualify for the Police I believe that this internship will give me a huge head start.
Some experiences that I encountered were DWIS, Assaults, Traffic Tickets, Domestic Disputes, and going into the bars for ABC checks. The best Dwi I saw was when we pulled over a twenty-nine year old Marine. The officer that I was with wanted to let him go but couldnt because of the condition of the offender. So we cuffed him and brought him to the station. While filling out the report for him we get a call about a kid who was struck at a bar by another man. We asked if he wanted to press charges and he replied with a yes. We went to his house and found out it was a twenty-five year-old who was majoring to be a lawyer. The officer I was with that night knew this kid and thought very low of him because of past incidents. Come to find out the twenty-nine year old we had in custody was the one that had assaulted him earlier in the bar. We told him to come down in the morning and sign to press charges. When we got back to the station the Officer I was with asked him why he didnt hit him harder. It was way to make him laugh and relax. After that we all got talking and it actually did calm him down and I learned that even though someone committed a crime that it doesnt necessarily mean that person is a bad person.
When dealing with assaults I learned that no matter how much you agree with a person or want to believe a person that you cant take sides. To me this was one of the major lessons that I learned in this program. We were dispatched to a call at the Caboose for a fight. When we arrived I saw two younger males and an older male fighting. Immediately I thought that the two younger males were drinking and started a fight with this older man who was walking down the street. To my mistake we found out that the two men were helping one of their wives into the car who was intoxicated. She fell, the man who was walking down the street was also intoxicated and thought that the two were harassing the female and started hitting them thinking he was helping the female. We ended up arresting the older man with assault and later he was discharged when his friend came in and paid his bail.
When pulling over vehicles I also learned a lot. I learned how to translate every letter of the alphabet so we could tell the dispatcher the license plate, I learned how to fill out the ticket itself and most importantly how to use my discretion on whether to give the ticket or not to give the ticket to the offender. Most Officers at Gloversville have an average of around a ticket a night. Some give one a week, and police in a very watchman style of policing while some give a ticket to every offender they see and police in a very legalistic manner.
The number one call that Gloversville gets dispatched to is Domestic Violence. Through the hours that I have put in we were dispatched to twenty-two calls that dealt with Domestic Violence. Ranging from husbands and wives to brothers and sisters every call was basically the same thing. They have a fight and they abuse the police department to get back at each other. To me this should not be dealt with by the police but by social workers.