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Davis Journal

Internship program gives students first hand experience in law enforcement

Nov 10, 2021 12:54PM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—Students at Farmington High School are looking at crime scene photos, watching a K-9 sniff for bombs and going to court. It may seem unconventional but it’s all part of an internship put on by the Davis County Sheriff’s Office for kids who are interested in a career in law enforcement.

“It’s amazing,” said Jan Wray, Internship Coordinator for Davis School District. “Because of COVID, the students couldn’t go onsite at the Sheriff’s Office but Capt. (Jen) Daley has been working hard to get everybody out here.”

The first class was a CSI presentation by Det. Chad Nicholls. “I’m going to teach you the principles of a death investigation,” he said. “I’ll show you a scenario from a Davis County death and let you be in the shoes of an investigator and figure out what they would do. Things are not always what they seem so don’t assume.”

Wray said for another class a dispatcher came and shared her experiences with the kids. “She talked about suicide because September is suicide awareness month and she almost committed suicide herself. During her presentation she had the kids eating out of her hands.”

UHP also came out with a recruiter from their dive team, she said. “They also brought a K-9 bomb sniffing chocolate lab.”

The students got the opportunity to go to court as well, said Wray. “They took us into an empty courtroom and let them sit where the judge sits, where the attorneys sit and where the defendant sits. We talked about proper attire and how to act in the courthouse.”

Coming up they have someone from the records department who does the ankle monitors and looks at all the footage from police body cameras. “We have finger printing coming up and the FBI is coming too,” she said. “You literally couldn’t have more of a one-on-one experience.”

Wray said the students have been so interested in everyone who comes. “One boy wants to be a detective, one wants to work with the K-9s, another as a crime scene analyst and one girl wants to be an officer/paramedic. She just wants to be on the streets.”

It’s just so fun to see these kids thriving, said Wray. “These presenters want to help them with their future. It’s all about investigating careers and test driving a career to decide where to go.”

The Davis County Sheriff’s Office has hired 12 of her interns over the years. “It shows the quality of the interns that we have.” 

Wray has 306 kids out right now in a variety of internships. “It’s good because if they love it they can pursue it after high school,” she said. “If they hate it they can go another direction and save time and money.”

It’s getting them prepared for real life and post secondary education, said Wray. “This is the best job ever – I love it.”