SIDNEY — The Sidney Police Department wants to spread the word to college students in the area about the internship program at the SPD.
Capt. Jerry Tangeman, who has been with the department for 29 years, has been in charge of the internship program since its inception in 2017. The program was started to help colleges fulfill their internship placement opportunity needs. The internship program is administered through the detective division in the SPD, allowing students in the program to be exposed to all aspects of the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer and their exposure can be easily managed.
The department typically offers internships every summer and will have one to two interns working within the department. It is not as common, but the department occassionally brings in a short-term intern to gain experience over their school’s winter break. The majority of interns that come through the SPD are college students majoring in Criminal Justice or a similar field. However, in the past the department has received a few interns that were working towards a degree in psychology. The department has hosted interns from Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo, Sinclair Community College and Edison State Community College.
“Our goal is to have the interns assist, directly, a detective or officer as they perform their duties in the field Examples would be helping detectives at crime scenes with photos, scribing and packaging evidence. They (interns) may observe an interview of witnesses, victims and suspects,” stated Tangeman.
Other aspects of the job that interns might observe or take part in are surveillance details and various community events. With patrol officers, interns get the opportunity to ride with an officer as they follow their regular patrol routes through the city. While on patrol, interns get a firsthand account of the officers’ experiences as they patrol. While detectives and officers in the SPD stay busy, during slower times interns might assist the department with clerical duties associated with detective work or perform research that may be needed on a case.
For long-term internships, such as the internships completed over a school’s summer break, interns are assigned a long-term project at the beginning of their internship that is expected to be completed by the conclusion of their internship. According to Tangeman, some projects might include community surveys, setting up public service announcements for the internet, developing a door bell camera contact program, conduct a red light accident study and many more.
Applications for internships with the SPD typically begin at a prospective intern’s college or university. The school will then refer the student to the department at which point Tangeman takes over to coordinate with the potential intern and perform a limited background check. The SPD is limited to having two interns at one time and, according to Tangeman, first try to accommodate college and university students in search of internships to fill their degree requirements.
“We are very pleased with the young men and women who have interned with our department. It has been beneficial to us as mentors and hopefully a positive experience for the interns giving them insight to what daily law enforcement is. Since 2017 we have had approximately 16 interns. Three of those interns have later returned to the Sidney Police Department as officers,” said Tangeman.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Police Department, 234 W. Court St., Sidney.