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Internship Cements Student’s Law Enforcement Aspirations

Senior Intern Works With Sheriff's Department

April 29, 2022

While there are many true crime enthusiasts, only a small percentage have first-hand experience with the investigative process.

Senior Nikki Johnson started an internship with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in February, which allowed her to gain this direct perspective. Johnson decided to pursue this opportunity because of the connection her dad had to the sheriff’s office.

“An email was sent out that had internship opportunities, and I saw Clay County Sheriff’s Office,” Johnson said. “My dad used to work there, so I figured it would be fun to apply.”

Nikki Johnson (Cassie Ford)

In this internship, Johnson has been able to work with different departments of the sheriff’s office, learning how each part works.

“Right now I am going through all of the sections of the sheriff’s department and seeing what each department is like,” Johnson said.

While Johnson was not to go to crime scenes during this internship, she was given multiple unique opportunities. From witnessing an arrest, to participating in a real-life murder investigation, Johnson said she thoroughly explored the law enforcement system of Clay County. One of the rotations was with the investigative team. Though she had a limited time with this team, Johnson found this rotation interesting.

“I only had a week rotation with the investigators,” Johnson said. “But it was really interesting to watch how they do things. I learned a lot.”

One of the things Johnson said she found surprising in her internship as an investigator was how much evidence was required to convict someone of a crime. Besides her work investigating, Johnson also spent shifts observing the work in the field. Ride-alongs were one of the things Johnson enjoyed most in her internship.

“The most interesting thing I have gotten to do is definitely all of the ride-alongs I have done,” Johnson said. “I have seen traffic stops and even one arrest.”

While the internship provided her with new experiences in law enforcement, there were certain things Johnson didn’t have as much freedom with.

“I can’t always do things hands-on,” Johnson said. “I just have to watch. When I did my courtroom rotation, I only got to watch people go through security. It got boring at times.”

While Johnson did recognize that not every rotation would be equally as exciting, she still said it was beneficial, as she learned more about the court system. One of the primary benefits Johnson mentioned was the way it confirmed her interest in the field.

“I am interested in law enforcement and have a new perspective on how everything runs,” Johnson said.

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