Todays I have just got to tell y'all about a new shadow program I am doing with the Wilmington Sheriffs Department!
You may be asking why I am shadowing there, or if i've changed my major...again!
I am still Mass Communications with a focus in Broadcast Journalism, which is exactly why I am doing this!
Through my internships in newsrooms, I have gotten a lot of wonderful hands on experience interviewing law enforcement.
It can be fun, but it can also be nervewracking...and at times I felt guilty because I felt like I was getting in the way of their job!
I really want to immerse myself into the world of a Police Officer, and see what they go through each day to keep Wilmington, and themselves safe.
When making the call on whether to try to shadow the Sheriffs Office, I thought back to when I was interning with WBTV, and the dentist in my neighborhood got murdered. The Police Station in Salisbury worked so hard to make sure justice was served, but I vividly remember the day it happened!
I was walking with my mother up the street when I saw news trucks everywhere, one of them being WBTV! I rushed over to see if I could intern!
I remember the whole process, and how the news really needed information, but police officers couldnt give out certain information at the time. Then came the day when the afidavit was released...it was like Christmas! The Policemen, and the reporter I worked with got along so well, because he was so ethical and professional about the situation, and he was close with the Policemen.
I think its interesting on both sides, because media is media, and we need what we need...but there is a tactful way to attain information. WBTV was very very tactful, and I found it so interesting, and fun to be a part of the case!
I remember when they took Candice Jo Dry to jail for being an accessory during that case, and I watched with a mic, as the camera man and I chased her down as she was in cuffs walking with the policemen. We kept asking her questions, and the policemen had to keep walking, and keep their eyes forward doing a very good job.
Its just as hard for the media as it is for the policemen, but that day really stuck with me!
I really want to use this shadow program to take in all that Policemen do, and take it into account when I become a reporter. The purpose of this is to help me better understand, and know how to be respectful of the Policemens perspective on things. I want to always make friends with the Law Enforcement, because thats how it has to be. Dont step on each others toes.
Today was perfect, because I got to have this very conversation with many different officers, and get their opinions on the media, and how they like to handle it. I told them how I liked to do things too, and we really got to compromise, and talk about the best way to handle situations.
For my Social Problems class this semester, we have to pick an organization to shadow for 15+ hours (emphasis on the +, because 15 hours isnt near enough!)
I guess I could have chosen a homeless shelter, or another non-profit organization, but NO I chose the Sheriffs Office, and couldn't have made a better choice!
The first day of meeting everyone, I showed up...to the wrong police station!
I had directions to the Sheriffs Office, but of course, saw a sign that said "Police" so took a wrong turn, and ended up at the Wilmington Police Station...which is also HUGE, and so nice!
...Didn't I feel the fool!
Anyways, they kept a straight face (atleast until I got outside!) & gave me directions to the SHERIFFS Office!
When I FINALLY made it to the Sheriffs Office, it was one of the nicest Law Enforcement offices that I had ever seen!
However, as nice as the officers were, and the landscaping was...
...on my walk in, I was greeted by some fine lookin' citizens smoking cigs, and talking about "why they baby daddy done been arrested for tha 3rd time! Dey wasnt drankin on da job, jus got fired for no reason..."
...Shoot girl, maybe you should sue?!
THEN, as I was going inside, I saw a brassy blonde light up what must have been the last Misty in the pack, with her classy pink "high heel lighter", and throw the empty box right on the ground
...guess shes not going green anytime soon!
Its okay though, I understand. She's just going through a stressful time! Her boyfriend stole a car so he could buy her the drugs she wanted for her birfday...thats so nice!
She lost her boyfriend, the car, and the drugs...its been a long day, sometimes you just need a smoke...i'm not judgin'!
Anyways, on to more serious talk!
So, I got inside, and checked in! I was waiting in the waiting room, and I saw Lt. S! He took me back to his office so we could figure out what all I would get to experience through the program! Well, I knew it was going to be fun the minute I stepped in because from what I saw, he likes the Tarheels, Diet Sundrop, and has a Blackberry...okay, HELLO best internship EVER! AHH So excited!
Some of the things I will get to do will be so benificial, and exciting! Things such as shadowing officers on patrol, shadowing officers in placing inmates (which is an incredibly complicated, and tedious process! Kudos to the officers who are placed in this position, they are amazing people!), and attending classes taught by Lt. S to officer trainees! This was all exactly what I hoped that I would have the chance to experience through this program!
It all began today...
Police Academy (2010)
Police Academy Students (Oh, HAY! cute Officers in Training!)
Today was the first day of shadowing, and I began by meeting Lt. S and the other Officers at the Training Center around 8am! I was so excited, and I had just the best time! They are all so respected, and respectful! Also, they are all incredibly smart, and care about each person!
The Officers in Training work from 8am-5pm (sometimes longer) training to serve Wilmington! They all did such a great job! I walked into the training center around 8 with Lt. S and there were 20+ guys doing a rigourous training routine called the "Pyramid".
...I didn't hate it!
The Pyramid consists of 45 sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, and other stretches to help the trainees to push themselves as if they were having to fight for their lives on the job, and pull out all they have to finish the exercise! They go from doing 45 of each, to 40, to 30, to 20, all the way down to 5!
Its tough, but they made it look easy! They all work so hard! I was so excited to get to be a part of the class today, and meet other officers who were helping teach the class! One officer worked for the S.W.A.T. Team, and another Officer was the Cheif of Police in a small town nearby...we had a great conversation about the Blueberry Festival, and how much fun it is! Also, I met the Cheif of Internal Affairs, and he was just the nicest person! Lt.S, Cheif, and I all went and had a quick breakfast, which was so cool, because I felt like one of the Officers! It was so much fun to see all that they do, but on a serious note, it was very impressive how much work these guys do each day...they are the job! 24/7!
I am so excited to fill you in on more! I go back tomorrow, and get a tour of the station! I cannot wait! This is such a great program, and I am so excited my class gives me the opportunity to be a part of it!
Have a great Wednesday!