Today was a particularly busy day, but one that was similar to that of our time with the Prince William County Police Department: rather than the day being split between a day at a few locations and an evening course, today we were guests of the DC Metropolitan Police Department for the entirety of the day- further, not just in one capacity of the department, but in three. To begin with, we were hosted by Chief Peter Newsham in the Metro DC Headquarters followed by several Special Operations Group divisions, in our case Intelligence and Crime Analysis, followed by a trip to DC Metro’s Harbor Patrol and concluded with ride-alongs that encompasses Districts 1, 6 and 7 through the evening tour of duty.
Personally, I would take this moment to apologize for the brevity and lateness of this post, however I will excuse these given the length of time spent out the evening of and the remainder of the trip maintaining a similar operational tempo. In post, these will be arriving shortly and hopefully not too late for you all to still enjoy!
Another busy day for the group as we spent our time as guests of the DEA Training Academy. A double checkpoint: first to be granted entry into Marine Corps Base Quantico and again to be allowed onto the premises of the academy, where we were greeted by the facility’s director and every sign in the lobby bearing our logo! Several presentations lead to a tour of the resident facilities, including their gymnasium, laboratory and training areas like the famed Hogan’s Alley. To cap off our time here, a trip to the Marine Corps Exchange Gift Shop followed our use of the MILO System Simulation, providing us with real time use-of-force in various scenarios.
After hours, as we have most evenings, we received a presentation from Steve Murphy, Retired Supervisory Special Agent (DEA), known for his work in the apprehension and prosecution of Pablo Escobar, the leader of the Medellin Cartel. Paired with the veritable ocean of seafood to sample, a very happy crowd of students left with signed books and a new sense of appreciation for the department that we spent the day learning about.
We started our morning at 0715 after a late night out with our ride-alongs. Departing from the hotel, we made our way to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center, where we met with two of our NEC alumni along side many other experienced corrections professionals. Our tours featured detailed information culminating from combined decades of experience as we were lead on through the facility. After our tours, and another recruitment pitch focusing on the career building aspects of work at the ADC, we made our way back to DC and became guests of the FBI Headquarters.
There, we were able to see ourselves through a tour of the FBI Experience, where we were able to see artifacts of some of the most prolific FBI cases ever solved, including the boat that the Boston Bomber surrendered from. During the tour, we were able to talk with a retired investigator of the Bombing, as well as an active duty FBI agent. Our later class offered us a panel of Metro PD officers who answered questions about the department that we will be riding along with in the near future. Another eventful day, and far from the last!
Just because one night runs late does not mean the next day is for rest: another early morning saw us hosted by the Prince William County Police Department. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t just one stop on the affairs of the day, it was the stop of the day! Before a tour of the new PWCPD’s new facilities, the department’s command staff offered us choice words about their department’s recruitment drive and presentations from various members of the PWC team, including administrative support and crime analysts.
However, as the sun went down, we did not retire: instead, we took to the streets with various members of the PWCPD and spent the evening operating at their side. In all, the details of various encounters the students experienced aren’t entirely privy to the public, however a select few examples include an untimely death, several domestic incidents, traffic accidents, larcenies and the execution of search warrants. In all, everyone returned safely in the early hours of the following morning– explaining the lateness of this blog post!
Another busy day starts with another early morning, part and parcel of being a law enforcement professional as Professor Jones would remind us. Outside the fact that most of the students were up well before the bus rolled at 0730 for breakfast, most of the officers who received us at the US Capitol Police Headquarters were up well before this! Together with an informational recruitment session, Cmdr. Bujah offered us a personally guided tour of his jurisdiction in the US Capitol Building, including many facets that most of the public wouldn’t normally be able to see; among the favorites being a ride on the Congressional Tram system running between the congressional offices and the Capitol Building!
As though exploring the Capitol and Union Station weren’t exciting enough, the DC Department of Forensic Services welcomed us into their laboratories and showed up much of the ‘behind the scenes’ that goes on within the expanded investigative support network that many of the hopeful graduates can expect to work with after gaining employment within the larger law enforcement family. Moreover, the learning doesn’t stop once the hotel threshold is crossed: another very experienced friend of the institution and representing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Office of Special Investigations, offered his expertise for a presentation on insider threats and the broader implications it means for incoming generation of practitioners. It was truly amazing!
As always, the experience imparted on the students offered them much to reflect on going forward- not only in the challenged they will face in their work, but also in their choice of department and career path. Thankfully, they have much of the rest of the week to consider these…!
Bright and early, the NEC Criminal Justice Group reported to Simon lobby for 0700 hours, beginning our excursion to DC with brief and filing onto our bus. Here, we met our driver Rob, got comfortable with our surroundings and, in some cases, caught up on sleep that the early morning didn’t afford them. The 10 hour ride was anything but calm though; between our trip mascot Nugget, a game of CJ Trivia and a few stops along the way, we made it to our hotel with some time to spare!
Once settled, the group was greeted by NEC Alumni and Metro DC Officers Ethan Way and Sean McDowell, both of whom shared their experiences, department and wisdom with the students, including choice photo opportunities with some contemporary police equipment! After all this and a hearty dinner, the group retired to bed for another early day tomorrow, stops including the US Capitol and another visit with Metro DC in their Forensic Services Division.
Stay tuned for more, this blog will be updated daily after all the excitement!
To all who shall read these presents, now and in posterity, greetings!
My name is Tyler, I am a graduating senior from New England College’s Criminal Justice program, and have been volunteered for the position of student blog-master for the program’s capstone course DC travel component for the class of 2020.
Though this is likely being published well before the point that material will come to be published, which many family members, friends and interested parties are eager to see, I’m taking this moment to explain some of the more pressing questions that are likely to be asked in the coming days.
By the point that the pictures and articles come to be here, I will have done most of my work in the elements of design and working with the site as time goes on. These proceeding posts will be produced by students as part of their experiences and will serve as a cross-section of the experiences the students have gone on. Who writes when is not privy to me at the moment, nor do I believe that this will become evident until after the fact, but I do hope that you none the less enjoy following along with the trip.
As a note of warning, not every experience that will be undertaken in the course of this trip will be publicly highlighted on the blog, nor will we be able to record all of our experiences with photographs due to the sensitive nature of some of the departments and agencies that we will be working with. Consider these, at the discretion of the students, to be something of a conversation to be had later rather than rehashed for the likes of this blog.
In all, I’d like to thank you for your interest in our trip and invite you to experience it in part along with us!