Real World Policing vs. the Classroom – Tom Zaborowski

This week Tom writes about how different the real world of criminal justice can vary from the root concepts taught in the classroom.

The only real connections I can think of between interning this summer and my education from UNH is probably the general information as well as the lessons on necessary force. The ideas of probable cause, reasonable suspicion, search warrants, consented searches/search incidents to arrest, plain-view, and reasonable force were all topics I discussed with officers on ride alongs as well as in the offices with higher-ranking officers. I actually had a 1-2 hour conversation just on searches, reasonable suspicion/probable cause, and warrants with one of the more talkative officers I did a ride-along with that gave me some insight as to how what we are taught is much different from the way these things are handled on the streets.

TRPD-308x318The lessons and knowledge I gained from the time in the classroom was the fuel I used to sustain and understand these conversations as well as input my own opinions or ideas to bring up new perspectives with the officers I was able to ride with/be around. This was really the only time I can really connect what I learned from UNH to my actual internship because everything else was stuff I had never expected or thought I would be able to do. I was not prepared and did not expect to drive their cars, work with their SWAT team, get bitten by their K9 units, watch demos by the officers, see an autopsy or medical evacuation, or even see how officers handle people in a community. I mean, yes, we went over community policing, but the ideas and the actual demonstration of idea are much different than expected. Truthfully, I found that the most shocking since what I had learned in school wasn’t exactly the same out in the field. After seeing how the actions differed from the lessons we were taught, it’s amazing to see the correlations as well as the huge differences that can really change your predisposition on law enforcement in general.

Be sure to check back next Thursday afternoon to read more about Tom’s internship experience!

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