Protect and serve. That’s the ultimate mission of a Corry city police officer. However, officers have taken on another duty this summer — teaching.
Jay Rougeau, a 2012 Corry graduate and current intern with the city department, is on the receiving end of these lessons.
After completing two years of college at Penn State Behrend, Rougeau will continue his education at Penn State’s University Park campus this fall with a major in criminology.
But not before getting some hands-on experience.
“I decided to go into this field because I just want to help people, and this job gives me the best opportunity to do that,” Rougeau said.
Since May, Rougeau has been an active member of the city police departments. His position allows him to observe what officers do on a daily basis, ride along with officers and take notes on scene, as well as writing out incidents.
Although he is not certified to perform most tasks that police officers do on a daily basis, he still feels that he is gaining a great experience.
“It’s a very hands-on job, and without this internship I wouldn’t know what it was all about,” he said.
Corry Police Chief Rich Shopene works hard to make the internship experience a great one.
“The internship program is valuable to the station and to the intern,” Shopene said.
After an interview and background checks, interns spend two weeks becoming accustomed to the department and routines. They are then permitted to ride along with officers, however in certain situations, may be asked to return to the station if a situation becomes too dangerous.
Shopene requires interns to work all three shifts throughout their time, in order to aquire a “real-life” outlook on the job. In addition, an eight-to-10-page page research paper is expected before the completion of the internship.
As far as Rougeau’s time as an intern, Shopene said, “He’s excellent. Very attentive, grasps information and retains it well.”
The Corry Police Department has welcomed about 15 interns from various schools around the area. If anyone is interested in an internship, his or her current school may contact the station.
Rougeau hopes to join the State Police Academy in Harrisburg after graduation. The highly selective program includes intense physical and mental training for months.
However, Shopene also stated that about 75 percent of previous interns have found job placements within the field, so the odds are in his favor.