CJ Interns Patrol Campuses
If it seems like security personnel is everywhere lately, you are right.
For the second consecutive semester the Northern Essex security office has been hosting unpaid interns for the college’s criminal justice internship class. This semester, five interns have donned security hats, clipped radios to their belts, and headed out to parole the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses for four- to six-hour shifts.
A criminal justice professor approached Bill Blouin, head of NECC security, last year about taking on the interns and using them as guards around the campus. Criminal justice majors must complete 120 hours of criminal justice related community service for their internship class.
“It has been a win-win situation for them and for us” says Blouin. “We use them as a second pair of eyes and they get the experience.”
While the interns are learning common sense initiatives such as dealing with different, sometimes awkward, situations and how to communicate with the public respectfully, the college community has the reassurance of knowing there are additional security guards watching the campus, says Blouin.
Are they deterring crime?
“I would certainly hope so,” says Blouin. “They do a nice job. I’m really proud of them.”
Lawrence resident Paul Lyons is one of those interns. After graduating from Northern Essex with an associate degree in psychology, the Greater Lawrence Voc-Tech grad returned to NECC to earn an associate degree in criminal justice. He is simultaneously attending Cambridge College and working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A first degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, Lyons hopes to parlay his degrees and experience into a future in forensic psychology.
“This is interesting,” Lyons says of his internship. “I get to see how the security works around here and how well they know the students and the buildings. If anything, I have learned how to approach someone and discreetly tell them smoking is only allowed inside cars in the parking lot.”