12 Jan WHAT I HAVE LEARNED AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT INTERN
As Stated by others as well as myself in earlier blogs, working as a law enforcement intern has been a great opportunity and experience as each day varies substantially. From patrolling lower elevation in family camping areas, snow filled regions working Off Highway Vehicle Enforcement or even responding to fires to conduct the causation and preventative measures, a day as a intern is a great opportunity working collectively towards the greater good of the community. I have learned the wide array of regions that we cover and use our authority on a national scale as I was able to Patrol the Los Padres National Forest that ranges from my hometown (Santa Barbara) to more northern areas of the same forest on the beach sides of Monterey County. Pictured Below is a fire we responded to on Gaviota Road, a hotspot in Santa Barbara County for locals and tourists. It was a great experience to have sirens wailing and be flying to the scene, with my local knowledge of the area making navigating an easier task for Officer Ares and myself. Collaborating with the local fire department, we were able to determine the fire caused was due to a electrical short circuit that caused the brush fire on the mountain. Luckily it had rained a few days prior, which prevented a larger fire affecting the community.
Furthermore, as a law enforcement intern so far, I have been able to patrol Santa Barbara County, Fresno County, Madera County, Prather County, Monterey County, and Ventura County. By being an intern for a national agency and patrolling two different forests (Sierra National and Los Padres), it has built my overall knowledge of how different regions entail slightly different responsibilities and contacts. For example, for the Los Padres Forest, we would conduct traffic stops for speeding and possible intoxicated drivers. I was instructed “A simple infraction can always lead to something bigger, we need to do our due diligence.” On the other hand, in the Sierra National Forest where it is slightly more remote, we emphasize hunting regulation and other matters that seem applicable to the given region. All in all, I have learned as a law enforcement intern each forest has its own terrain that calls for different tasks and exposure. However, what is imperative to note is communication and constant collaboration with neighboring partners is essential, as access to all resources is fundamental to protect and preserve our National Forest.
Lastly, by patrolling many districts as alluded to earlier, I am able to have more exposure to National Forests and have a better understanding of the agency as a totality as well as gauge possible employment opportunities. Since being a intern with the Forest Service, I have been able to patrol with many different officers and gain different perspectives and experiences while learning the lay of the land. By having this exposure within various counties, it has shaped me into a more well rounded individual in regards to pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer with the experience I have accumulated over these past 4 months, an opportunity that I am immensely grateful to be a part of. With these last couple of months coming to the conclusion of the internship, it seems to be a bittersweet moment. With the end right around the corner, time truly does fly by when your having fun with good company, Until Next time!