By Brittany Beans | Staff Reporter
A&M-Commerce senior Taylor White interned with Sulphur Springs Police Department, and from that internship, she gained a new sense of the criminal justice field.
During her internship, White, a criminal justice and health science double major, discovered that the world of criminal justice is not quite what is presented on the silver screen.
“It’s interesting how the perception of police work on TV and movies is so skewed to actual police work,” White said. “It isn’t all about “catching the bad guy,” there is a lot of paperwork and A LOT of waiting.”
The Criminal Justice department requires that a student completes 150 hours of internship hours in order to gain experience in the real world with the criminal justice field.
“Working there is not as fast paced as it would be in large cities like Dallas but you still get some pretty interesting calls and cases,” White said.
As of 2016 the population of Sulphur Springs is 16,162, lending it a small town feel, and White observed how the police department is closely connected with the townspeople.
“Being in a small town is so much different from a bigger one. In a small town, everyone knows each other and can make more connections with more people,” White said.
Throughout her experiences with the Sulphur Springs police department, White was able to look on the other side of the law, through a policeman’s perspective.
“It’s funny to see how many people break the law when a cop is around. One time we were sitting at a church parking lot, watching a four way stop sign, and like 15 people blew right past it. Didn’t even tap the brakes,” White said.
“This is an interesting internship for me because I was mainly interesting in the forensics field when I first entered this major. However, I do have to have experience with policing so this is kind of like a head start in the field, something good to put on a resume,” White said.
White has been interested in forensic science since high school when she attended a job fair and spoke to a forensic scientist.
“I had been interested since my senior year,” White said. “The job just spoke to me because I knew I wanted to help people but I didn’t know how and talking to that person really put something everything in perspective.”
The requirement of an internship for her degree has benefited White in many ways, especially since she had minimal experience in the field until the internship.
“Many people say that internships help them in the long run,” White said. “I find truth in that because this helps me develop strong communication skills while also teaching me how to remain professional in light of any bad situation that may arise.”