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GIVING BACK

Amanda Litchke, 2016 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award, interned at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.

Major: Psychology

Goals: Earn my Masters in Forensic Psychology and become a Criminal Intelligence Analyst

This summer I had the privilege of interning at the Wisconsin Department of Justice with their Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). DCI investigates crimes that are statewide in nature. They work with local agencies as well as federal partners to investigate a variety of crimes, such as arson, homicide, white collar crimes, internet crimes against children and drug-related crimes. DCI is made up of agents who work in the field as well as analysts who work on the intelligence aspect of investigations. My particular role at DCI was as an Intelligence Analyst Intern, specifically assigned to assist the Director of Wisconsin’s Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children and Adults. Although each agent and analyst have their specialties everyone at DCI works together to assist in investigating all crimes. Therefore, I was able to experience all different aspects of DCI. To say it was an incredible experience would be a vast understatement.

Interning at DCI has enriched my knowledge of the criminal justice at all levels: local, state, and federal. Due to the fact that DCI works with all levels, I have been able to see how law enforcement agencies function in so many different capacities. As an intern I was given so many hands-on opportunities. I have been able to assist in the investigation of a homicide; creating timelines and association charts, the opportunity to attend an autopsy and help execute a search warrant. I was also able to attend Defense and Arrest Tactic Training and Firearm Training with the agents and attend a homicide trial. On the intelligence side of my experience I analyzed data from attempted abductions to look for patterns, entered heroin-related case details and data for the purposes of allocating grant funding to local agencies, and developed intelligence reports for the FBI. Each opportunity has been not only exciting but so rewarding. Working with DCI has grown my passion for the field and solidified my desire to pursue a career within the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice Program itself has been one of the most valuable experiences of my undergraduate studies. The program is structured in such a way to really enhance the learning of the criminal justice system through not only the internship portion, but through impressive faculty, mentorship relationshis, and various workshops. The program really helps to thoroughly prepare each student for not just their internship placement but life beyond college as well.

I am so thankful to the family of Audrey J. Harris for making this experience possible. Their generous financial gift helped lift the financial burden and provided a way to make this experience all that it was. I am honored to have been chosen as a recipient of this award and greatly appreciate the way the family of Audrey J. Harris invests in the education of the students in this program; I am so grateful and will never forget the opportunity they helped to make possible.