Local police teach interns about law enforcement | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 22, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: April 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm
By GEORGE SALSBERRY
Michael Harrison Hazel and Samuel Warner Creswell spent their last day at the Walterboro Police Department handling paperwork.
Much of their last day as interns at the department was spent going through the large file drawer which holds the department’s outstanding warrants.
Their goal, Deputy Chief Kevin Martin explained, was ensuring that all the paperwork was in the right place.
The interns, during the course of their time with the department also reorganized the department’s paperwork on trespassing notices and helped with the scanning the department’s evidence vouchers onto a computer.
“They helped with some administrative things,” Martin said. “Hopefully we have taught them some things along the way.“
Each Tuesday since January, Hazel and Creswell have arrived at the police headquarters from their homes in Brunson, ready for another day of learning everything they could about all the facets of public safety.
Hazel and Creswell are both seniors at the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie-Allendale.
They will graduate next December with a bachelor of liberal studies with majors in criminal justice.
With his degree in hand, Hazel hopes to be hired by the federal prison in Estill and move his way up through the prison’s administration. Creswell wants to go into federal law enforcement.
The internship, they said, let them experience everything about law enforcement from riding a desk to riding a cruiser.
Each week, the two interns were required to write a three-page paper on what they had done that Tuesday — what they had taken away from that day’s experience.
One Tuesday, they got to experience the Colleton County Detention Center. Hazel said, “It always has a smell — it was the first thing that got us. It smells like bleach and nasty towels.”
Another Tuesday, the assignment was the Walterboro Fire Department.
The city firefighters told them they were going to do something fun: they were going to conduct hose tests.
Hazel said what the firemen didn’t know was that he and Creswell have both spent time as volunteer firefighters. They knew what hose tests were and were well aware that the routine firefighter tests did not come close to the definition of fun.
“We just waded into it. We didn’t tell them we knew what to do.” Creswell explained. At the end of the day, they added, the city firefighters told them to put in their applications.
Their day at the dispatch center was “mind-blowing,” Hazel said.
The dispatcher they sat with had three keyboards, five computer screens and a pair of computer mice to work. “She is keeping up with everything and talking to us,” Creswell said. At times, they said, they could not tell if she was talking to them or the people calling in for assistance.
They also spent time with Denise Pinckney, the department’s victim-witness advocate. “That takes a special person,” they said.
Martin said Hazel and Creswell’s time with the department was the first time the Walterboro Police Department accepted interns.
Martin said when approached about accepting an intern, the administration decided to start with one, test the program and see how it worked.
“Then we agreed to take on two,” Martin said. “It really worked out well. It is something we will do again.”