First of all, I am really thankful for being chosen to be a part of this 30 day development assignment as I believe that during the course of 30 days, I was able to hone my skills, most especially my interpersonal and communication skills, and gain a lot of relevant experiences about the profession I am currently in. I also firmly believe that this was a great eye-opener for me and that’s why I am really thankful and proud that I was able to complete this step to further my growth and improvement in the law enforcement profession.
My First Week
I started my 30 day development assignment last June 6, 2011 at the Worcester Police Department. Fortunately, I was assigned to work with the Vise Squad Unit and after a while, my mentor, Detective Richard Burgos was finally introduced to me.
Moments later, a case was finally assigned to our team and for the next two days, we are to survey and monitor reported drug trafficking activities at a house located in 8 Shawmut Street, Worcester, MA.
Within the two days that were assigned to us, the case ended with the suspect and his partner arrested. At that moment, I just witnessed how an actual operation really goes and how my colleagues react with precision to every situation without compromising logical and calculated decision-making.
Prior to that, I learned more about how a search warrant is usually processed and I realized that it really takes days for a document to be processed. Nonetheless, the operation was successful and I knew I gained a lot from it.
However, that was not the end of it. Back at the police station, I was able to listen and observe how the Detective interviews the suspect. Fortunately, I was able to grasp some important concepts that I would have to personify so that I can improve the way I talk and the way how I communicate with these types of people. I was also able to witness the way how they make police reports and I have to say that they were very organized, fluid and coherent. Most importantly, it was very detailed and all of the pertinent information about the case was there. I was so thankful at that moment because I was actually given the chance to know more about how I can improve my oral and writing communication as well, considering that it has only been almost a week.
At the beginning of my second week, me and my mentor, Detective Burgos was assigned on another different case. This was not really so different from the first case that we handled a week ago but in the end, I myself was surprised by the amount of new learning I was able to gather.
We were tasked to do some sort of an entrapment operation against a Colombian citizen who was reported to be selling cocaine. Presumably, this was an entrapment operation that would lead us to the whereabouts and other details about another set of targets. With this, I just realized how an individual like me could potentially solve a series of quests by simply analyzing everything well and following the right protocols at the same time.
Moments later, we received our go signal (a telephone call) and we immediately rushed with caution and just in time, we saw the target suspect, about to close his deal. As he saw us, we immediately arrested him. He even attempted to swallow the drugs but even so, we succeeded in retrieving it by making him throw it up. As a result, we were able to gather strong and concrete evidences about his identity, 15 pellets of cocaine weighing around 20 grams. During the course of this case, I was able to notice how evidences are of great value for law enforcers like me and how a team (our team) should openly communicate with each other regardless of the situation. Even if at times, there were some tension building up, I was able to adapt that a conflict-free environment would really be what’s best at almost any situation.
Back at the police station, another neat, detailed and well-written police report was made and so I realized that writing police reports with that standards should really be a part of me and I was actually able to incorporate most of those techniques into my style already.
The next day, I arrested a Cuban national who I know because I already arrested him two years ago because of immigration related disputes. I just saw him sell drugs in the middle of the street and I immediately brought him back at the station due to illegal cocaine distribution with great authority and tact. The arrest that day was peaceful and successful; a good thing because it just showed that I was already able to apply some of the things I learned the past 2 weeks.
On my third week, I and my colleagues faced two cases; one is about illegal possession of heroin and the other is about home invasion, a relatively new case for me to partake with my new team.
I will not cover all of the specific details but I want to share that both of these 2 operations went as smooth as it can be despite the fast turning of events. Here I learned how my responses are crucial for the success of an operation. I realized that I cannot really waste even some milliseconds thinking about the next thing to do because that would actually make the suspect escape.
Over the remaining days of the third week, we conducted patrols around the city and I just had the chance to see how simple patrolling could turn into a series of arrest cases.
We were able to interview one of the suspects and because Detective Burgos’ interviewing expertise, we managed to extract a lot of relevant information about the suspect. During my 3 weeks of stay in this city, I have already succeeded in determining and improving certain points about how I should communicate with people in the city, from simple to business people.
My last week
On the last week of my development assignment, we were tasked to monitor prostitution activities within the city and as always, we managed to come back to the police station with positive results, thanks to the theories and concepts that I learned how to apply, most especially my interpersonal skills with my colleagues, my mentor, with the suspects and with all of the people living in the city.
A summary of what I learned
Most of the skills I was able to sharpen are my interpersonal skills, really. It is definitely an integral part of this profession; to know how to communicate with people and try not to develop any form of conflict as much as possible.
Finally, I was able to realize the all-around importance of ethics, good communication and teamwork in performing the daily tasks of an enforcer which would not only give credit to our team but would also be a great learning experience to me as I become a superior officer in the future as well.