One spring day, a Student Prince decided to go on a summer adventure. “It won’t be long before I have a career,” the Prince said, “so I’d better start preparing now.” So with some ’Berg education under their hat, and some connections in their back pocket, the Student Prince began forging their way through an internship.
We continue our web series, Internship Chronicles.
Chapter 15: A Summer with the Montague Police Department
Braeden Kahl is a rising senior, double-majoring in psychology and criminology. This summer, he is interning with the City of Montague police department. Through one of his coworkers at the internship, Braeden met a special agent for federal law enforcement. This interaction has shifted his career goals to federal law enforcement, such as the secret service, FBI, Homeland Security, or the DEA. Braeden’s backup is to work with the Michigan State Police for experience and work towards a specialization within their department – namely either for their K9 Unit, or serving as a Detective.
How did you find your internship, or how did the internship find you?
I found this internship through my Dad. My dad is a part-time officer at the Montague Police Department. My Dad talked about me to the Chief of Police before I reached out to the Chief. Once I contacted the Chief asking for an internship, he approved it.
What did you expect from your internship initially?
Initially, I expected the police work to constantly be busy. To my surprise, there weren't actually as many calls to respond to as I had imagined. A majority of the work that was conducted was traffic law enforcement and patrolling the community. The officers still remain diligent to protect people's safety, they're constantly looking out for the well-being of others. Lastly, before the internship, I knew the relationship between the community and the police was good, but I wasn't aware of how good. I did not expect people to constantly thank our officers every day for their service (at least every day that I was with them) and even bring them snacks or buy them food.
What really happens in your day-to-day work?
During a regular day at the Police Department, I come in at shift change and the officers have a briefing of everything that went on during their shift and let them know what to look out for or just to be aware of. After the briefing, we head out on the roads for our first patrol round of the day.
Sometimes the officers will look to see if warrants have been approved or if there are any active warrants that they can act on. After that, usually we will head to the boat launch to check to see if there are any parking violations or people using the boat launch without permits. Next, we would find a place to run radar, patrol streets again, look up potentially expired license plates (indicated usually by the stickers), check for possible drunk drivers, stay aware of traffic violations, and at any time there could be 911 calls that we would immediately respond to. If there’s a spare moment and nothing is happening, we usually stop for lunch or dinner, but once we're done eating we head back to the roads. Lastly, sometimes we will provide backup for the neighboring city when they're called out to 911 calls. Typically, the Montague officers wouldn't necessarily conduct the Police work because it would be out of their jurisdiction. Instead, we would back up the neighboring city for the safety of the other officers. However, if it is necessary for the Montague officers to conduct some police work outside of their jurisdiction, then they will because most of them are deputized.
What connections have you made?
The majority of my professional goals have changed due to the conversations I've had with the officers I've worked with during my internship. I've been lucky enough to receive great advice, sources of information, references, sources for networking, contact information for people who work in the organizations I'm interested in, and lastly I formed a great, friendly relationship with every officer I've worked with. I believe that if I have any questions related to law enforcement job opportunities I could contact them any time, and they would answer them to the best of their abilities to point me in the right direction.
What is the most valuable thing you’ll bring back to the classroom after this experience?
The most valuable thing that I will bring back to the classroom after my internship experience is having first-hand experience that the large majority of police officers are really good people trying to do their job and keep people safe. I believe that through this internship I have enhanced a couple of my skills such as attention to detail, situational awareness, and being able to take in information quickly.
If your internship was a book or a chapter in a book, what should it be titled?
“A Summer With the Montague Police Department”
For more information about the Montague Police Department, check out their website.