Blinn Criminal justice grad discusses her Constable’s Office internship experience
When Josie Purcell began her internship with the Brazos County Constable’s office in summer 2012, she was equipped with plenty of classroom knowledge but had yet to witness criminal justice in action.
“I had no experience in law enforcement whatsoever, but they let me do everything but drive the car and shoot a gun,” she says with a grin.
Now a detention officer with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, Purcell credits her success to Blinn’s Criminal Justice internship program and the mentors she met along the way.
“Internships provide the practical applications for what students have learned in the classroom,” says Janet McNutt, Criminal Justice Program coordinator. “It’s a priceless experience that helps students reach their career goals.”
Blinn offers an Associate of Arts in criminal justice and Associate of Applied Science degrees in criminal justice and law enforcement. It also offers a certificate in corrections and a basic peace officer academy through a partnership with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
The Criminal Justice Program’s internship option is a 200-hour course for credit offered in spring and summer semesters. Students must meet with McNutt several months prior to the semester they wish to intern to discuss goals and secure a position with an agency.
The program has partnered with the Brazos County Constable’s office and is looking to create more opportunities for students with other local law enforcement agencies.
Purcell says her internship marked a turning point in her education and her future.
“It was by far one of the best experiences of my life,” Purcell says. “I’ve learned to conduct myself as an officer and I can talk to the inmates without the use of force.”
Brazos County Precinct One Constable Jeff Reeves and Purcell also recalled the day in August 2012 when Constable Brian Bachmann was fatally shot while serving an eviction notice. Purcell and Reeves had just had lunch with Bachmann before he headed to Fidelity Street in College Station to deliver the document.
“We waved at Brian on Southwest Parkway and headed back to the office,” Purcell says. “Not 10 minutes later, the radio went crazy.
“It was definitely a difficult experience, but it has reaffirmed that I’m following my calling.”
For more information on Blinn’s Criminal Justice Program, visit www.blinn.edu/twe/crimjustice/.
Story courtesy of Blinn College Marketing & Communications. Written by Brooke Conrad.