Courtesy Jose Baeza,
(Laredo, Tx)-An international exchange student named Shane Horgan from the University College Cork, in Ireland recently completed a full two summer term internship with the Laredo Police Department. The student was assigned to various divisions within the Laredo PD and was given unique supervised access to the development of criminal cases and investigations. Mr. Horgan in his own words describes his experience;
My Placement Experience with the Laredo Police Department.
“My name is Shane Horgan and I am Social Science (B.Soc.Sc) student at University College Cork, (UCC) in Ireland. I have studied at the university for the past two years and have just entered my final year. UCC is Ireland’s second largest university and was established in 1845. It has a student population of just under 19,000 students, including a large number of international students, many of whom come from the US.
The B.Soc.Sc trains students to be social scientists and the curriculum includes subjects such as social policy, sociology, philosophy, economics and psychology, during which they gain and develop new insights and skills. In the final year we are required to complete a 15,000 word social research project which involves doing original research on a topic we have chosen. To acquire practical experience we also have the option of doing work placement/ internships in both the second and third years of study. This requires that students complete a number of hours with an agency of their choice and involves a minimum of 150 hours of work and a 4,000 word portfolio report documenting the placement learning experience.
For both of my placement modules in the summer of 2010 and 2011 I have had the amazing opportunity to work with the men and women of the Laredo Police Department. This opportunity has been both unforgettable and invaluable to both my education and degree, but also in guiding me towards my ultimate career goals. It has been particularly valuable for me as an Irish student as this kind of experience is not available in Ireland. The Laredo Police Department exposed me to the true experience of American police work, a side that the general public is not privy to. Over the past two years the Laredo Police allowed me to experience the front line of the war on narcotics, gang violence and underworld criminal activity. In the interest of the wider community the officers of the Laredo Police department put themselves at risk everyday conducting various types of investigations to apprehend some of the most notorious and dangerous criminals in America. Whilst with the police department I had first-hand experience of narcotics investigations, search warrants, homicide investigations and specialized patrol units with both the police department and external agencies. Experiencing this first hand was undoubtedly a life changing experience, and helped to mould my education, career but also my views, outlook and general life experience.
I am extremely grateful to Chief Carlos Maldonado, the police officers and civilian staff for facilitating my placement at Laredo Police Department. It was a hugely valuable learning experience for me and I can truly say that what I learned will stay with me for the rest of my life, both professionally and socially. On the basis of my placements in Laredo over the past two years I am determined to pursue a career in the criminal justice system and sincerely hope to maintain my contact with everyone involved in law enforcement in Laredo Police Department.”
Assistant Police Chief Jesus Torres states “LPD is proud to have mentored a Criminal Justice student from a country in the EU who demonstrated self-reliance and resourcefulness; I predict his experience with us will enhance his professional skills in his hometown. The LPD officers and staff ‘adopted’ Shane into their ranks and daily activities that formed an alliance that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.”
Sgt. Sifuentes from the Laredo Police Narcotics Unit states “Shane had a wonderful rapport with the Narcotic’s Unit and all other agencies we work along with on a daily basis. His ability to connect with his coworkers and his talent to adapt to something so new to him was truly superior. He had excellent written and verbal communication skills, is extremely organized, reliable and computer literate. Shane was able to work side by side with a partner and was able to follow through to ensure that the job got done. He accomplished these tasks with great initiative and with a very positive attitude.”