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GIVING BACK

Chris Viveros, 2016 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award, interned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police department.

Majors: Legal Studies, Sociology, and Criminal Justice Certificate program

Goals: To attend law school and pursue a career in law enforcement

This summer I was granted the opportunity to intern with the University of Wisconsin- Madison Police department (UWPD). The UWPD is in charge of providing security and assisting campus community members with any issues they may have. Furthermore, UWPD focuses on promoting and supporting the academic and research goals of UW-Madison. Through this, UWPD aims at maintaining a safe environment for the campus community as well as property of the University. Although UWPD's main focus is the University's main campus within the Downtown area, they are able to enforce laws throughout the Dane county area. They are able to do so given that the UWPD is accredited through three different accreditation bodies. This makes UWPD the only law enforcement agency to be accredited through three different organizations within the state of Wisconsin. Apart from its accreditation, the UWPD works alongside University security in order to further provide a safe environment for the campus community and University property throughout Wisconsin.

My experience with UWPD has been great thus far. Everyone at the department has been very inclusive therefore making my experience that much better. There has not been a single person that has not offered me a helping hand, but instead they have taken time out of their day in order to assist and answer a few of my questions. Given that I work unsupervised, I’ve had the opportunity to familiarize myself with the police department and meet people that work in the different departments within the PD. Apart from this, I have been granted the opportunity to work in the various different departments within the PD as well. This has allowed me to understand how the PD is able to successfully function as a law enforcement agency. Not limited to office work, I have been able to attend different training sessions where I’ve had the opportunity to get tased and fire a weapon. Training sessions do not always include actively moving, but rather focus on continuous practice of an officer's police training. This is done in order for an officer to have a quicker thought process in rather difficult situations. Throughout this internship I have been able to become familiar with the PD and the active roles police officers play, thus further supporting my decisions to pursue a law enforcement career.

I would like to thank the Audrey J. Harris family for awarding me this scholarship that has allowed me to be part of this awesome internship. I have been able to fully enjoy my time at the UWPD as an intern and hope to further continue this awesome experience as a UWPD officer after graduation. This opportunity has allowed me to meet many great people whom one day I would like to work with. Due to the Harris family generosity, I have been able to verify my decision to join law enforcement and continue my education by applying to the Law school here at UW-Madison. Thus, one day being granted the opportunity to join the FBI as a special agent given my gained experience here in Madison.