Campus PD Interns, take a shot at the job.

By Jalen Cobb

DeKALB | Jason Ornelis was looking for a way to broaden his interest in the criminal justice field.

The junior sociology major and criminology minor decided to apply at the University Police Department as an intern.

“I learned about [the internship] through the police department and registered with career services,” Ornelis said.

The University Police Department accepts interns to work for them throughout the semester. The internship provides students with the hands-on experience needed to be successful in the field of law enforcement.

“Our internship is another way that we educate the public and people that are interested in what we do at the department,” said NIU Police Sgt. Alan Smith.

Internships are available through the police department and for students interested in law enforcement.

“Students routinely inquire about all types of internships that might be available on campus,” said Cindy Henderson, executive director of Career Services. “When they do, of course we refer them to those offices.”

Career Services offers a variety of options for students to learn more about particular career fields. Counselors are able to assist students in various professions and backgrounds.

“In the past, campus police usually have students who come to them because it will assist them with a class, or they have an interest in becoming an officer,” Henderson said. “[Campus police] normally have three internships and have not needed to advertise openings or recruit for them.”

Usually students intern for a minimum of 120 hours, Smith said.

According to the Career Services website, a minimum of 120 hours must be completed in order for the student to receive credit hours, but students can complete less if they are simply interested in the field.  

Interns experience all aspects of a law enforcement agency.

“We put [interns] with almost every position that we have at the department as a way of seeing what we do because we’re more than just law enforcement,” Smith said.

Students are shown more than just the lights and sirens that most people see on TV, he said.

“For the internship you come in and they assign you with an officer and you patrol with them,” Ornelis said.

These interns learn that policing is not always about arresting people, but also giving back and helping those in need, Smith said.

“Our goal is to get out and interact with our community that way the community gets to know us and we get to know the community,” he said.


For more information on internships, check out the Career Services Fall 2010 Internship Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 at the Convocation Center. Students should bring in multiple resumes, one to turn in at the door, and others to hand out to potential employers.