This report explains what I learnt during my internship stint at the Mount Vernon Police Department in New York. I have included an overview of the Department, all its divisions and their roles in providing services to citizens and hence to the entire country. This department is under the Mayor’s Office in the city of Mount Vernon. Like any other institution, this section is guided by the distinct values: valor, mission, dedication and professionalism. Valor is evident in the bravery witnessed during the execution of duties, mission in that the tasks set out to be done and performed well, work ethics are upheld, and all this is done with the highest level of commitment. These values guide police actions both at work and during off duty while showcasing beliefs in the values.
The Police Department prides itself in involving the community in protecting their lives, property, as well as their rights as enshrined in the Constitution. The department has four divisions, as follows: the Patrol Division, Detective Division, Internal Affairs Section and the Support Services. The Detective Division is in charge of investigating and detecting, in addition to preventing criminal activities. The Patrol Division provides day and night police services. Several units lie within the jurisdiction of this division. Among them is the emergency unit, which provides specialized services that may be needed by the public like, for example, undertaking rescue operations. The Police Squad likewise falls within this division. Members of this squad are on duty all the time. Their responsibilities are mostly concerned with responding to emergencies and other acts of felony. The Traffic Unit is as conventional department. It ensures that traffic rules are followed to maintain sanity on the streets. In addition to performing vehicle inspections, the K-9 unit works hand in hand with the Patrol Squad. They search for missing persons, detecting illegal drugs, as well as responding to emergencies. The Patrol Task Force acts as the customer care desk. All complaints are received and handled at this desk. This unit further ensures that a commendable rapport is maintained between the police and the public. It is also the first contact that a person can have with the Department. Like in any other office, administrative responsibilities are handled at the Operations Section. It co-ordinates all police functions. Another division within the law enforcement department is the Internal Affairs section. Unlike the Patrol Task Force, the internal affairs unit is a place where citizens can report any member of the Police Force if they feel that his or her professional conduct is inappropriate and is against the law. This section is not designed only for public complains, but for compliments as well. The public is welcome at the internal affairs office to register their appreciation for the commendable work done by officers. Last but not least is the Support Services Division. They ensure seamless and flawless service flow to the public in line with the Department’s core values and acceptable conduct.
My internship at the Mount Vernon police department helped me to learn lessons that, I believe, have improved my character and shaped my attitude towards life. The experiences I had during my internship had both negative and positive impacts on my life and career. Nevertheless, the positive aspects outweigh the negative ones. The internship was a success, all encounters were extremely beneficial and I diligently performed all assigned tasks. My working team was willing and always ready to lead by example. I horned my professional and personal skills, learnt to be an active team player, as well as working independently when the situation called for it. My creative, critical and analytical skills were sharpened. In addition, firm and wise decision-making tactics were enhanced. I cultivated the virtue of punctuality and effective communication as well. This was not only due to my one-on-one contact with the citizens, but also with staff at the Police Department.