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Albuquerque Schools’ Partnership with Local Police Provides Insight into CSI, Other Police Operations for HS Students
Students also participate in a simulation training.
May 8, 2012
“Oh my goodness, I am having even more of a blast with this program,” writes Ashley Moseley, an 11th grader at Albuquerque’s West Mesa High School, as part of her weekly report to her instructor about her internship program with the Albuquerque Police Department.
Moseley goes on to report that she has been working eight hours each Saturday with Sgt. Ferris Simmons and so far she has gone on calls ranging from “fights to dead people and drug addicts.” She also reports that she has had homework, including assignments such as learning the police “10-code” and “radio ABCs”—alpha, baker, charlie, etc.
Moseley was one of eight students from Albuquerque high schools who participated this semester in the internship program though the district’s Career Enrichment Center, said instructor Michael Lombardi.
Students go through rotations so that they see all aspects of police work. “They spend time in the dispatch center, the crime lab, field investigations, a police substation and with police service aides who handle the non-violent crimes,” Lombardi said.
The students and their parents are also invited to join a simulation training where students act as officers and decide how they would handle a situation as it plays out in a training video.
“The main goal of the program, which has been in place on and off for the past 20 years, is to have students bond with the officers and look to the officers as mentors,” Lombardi said, crediting Lt. Scott Lopez of the Albuquerque Police Department with doing most of the work to set up the internship program this year.
“Lt. Lopez went through a similar program 20 years ago when he was a student. He thought it was a very valuable experience and was eager to help us get it going this year,” Lombardi said.
Lopez said that officers who participated in this semester’s internship program were both field investigators and crime scene investigators.
“The purpose of the program is two-fold: first to introduce interested students to police work and second to build a better partnership with the Albuquerque community by having the participants better understand what police do,” Lopez said.
It is apparent from students’comments that the goals are being met. Student Diego Vigil wrote: “Once again I deem this experience invaluable and extremely fun. With each passing week I get a better understanding of what it truly means to fight crime in the modern world.”
Both Lombardi and Lopez noted that students had to apply to be a part of the program, they are interviewed and then must pass a background check. “Not everyone who applies gets in,” Lopez said.
Lopez said that currently in the department are a student and his parent who participated in the internship program. “We have another former student who is applying to be part of the police academy’s next class,” he said.