Pathways to Success

Garden Spot High School


Jayda Remlinger – Police Internship

I am currently an intern at the Ephrata Police Department, and my mentor is Sergeant Lockhart. The department’s jurisdiction includes Ephrata Borough, Ephrata Township, Adamstown Borough, and West Cocalico Township. While I do not actively participate in everything, simply being given the privilege to observe has allowed me to learn so much in such a seemingly short amount of time. The information I continue to acquire spans a myriad of topics, including but not limited to radio codes, obtaining and carrying out a search warrant, polygraphs, evidence processing, equipment, drones, policy, reports, citations, traffic stops, and training.

I have gained so much insight and experience from this internship that this blog post is not near enough room for me to get everything down. I’m constantly learning as I get a window into the ins and outs of police work, learning procedures and policy, and even just observing what it takes to be a better communicator. It was hard at first dealing with so many new faces at once, but as time passes and I get to know the officers more, I feel more comfortable with asking questions and talking to them. Through discussions with officers, I have the opportunity to hear stories, advice, and information that I would not have had access to otherwise.

In addition to learning the ropes through conversation, I have also seen the officers in action. I have been alongside them as they direct traffic and contain the scene of a car accident, deal with complaints, help the elderly, process evidence, write tickets and reports and citations, use a drone to take surveillance footage, and more. A great amount of care and deliberation goes into everything, which I witnessed even just sitting in on a policy meeting. It gave me insight into just how much thought is put into policy to ensure that officers are following the law and are given guidance for different scenarios. So many factors play a role in enforcing the law, even just at a basic level, such as needing to know what statutes to use when charging a person with a crime.

During my first week, a detective certified in using polygraphs explained to me how it worked and how to read results, before I myself was hooked up to the polygraph and able to do a demo test to see the process. I also had the opportunity to participate in firearms training. The specific training I attended was focused on the procedure of clearing doorways and rooms, and I learned the specifics of how officers do that, first through a presentation and then through drills at the end using airsoft weapons to practice positioning. In addition, I have taken pictures of seized drugs as an officer measured their weights as part of evidence processing. I have also typed up a citation, directed through each step by an officer. I even helped set up flares around a massive area of water on the road due to drainage issues when we had a particularly bad storm. I also helped detectives seal evidence with evidence tape, which I learned is way harder than it looks.

This internship has strengthened my desire to pursue a criminal justice degree and a subsequent job in law enforcement. I’m still researching all my options, but I am definitely keeping an open mind to becoming a police officer. The work that they do every day is not the most glamorous, and can sometimes seem tedious or ugly, but the results are clear in the community. These officers have forged relationships with members of the community, whether it be through outreach programs or just simply taking time out of their day to greet people. I hold high respect for not only this department but all law enforcement, and the experiences and knowledge that come from this internship solidify both that respect and my desire to get involved.

On the whole, this internship has allowed me to grow both on a personal and intellectual level. I have spent time with many amazing men and women who are good at what they do and do so with intention of helping serve the community around them. Through interactions with unique personalities, I have learned that police work is much more than what I expected. Of course, I came into this knowing that it wasn’t going to be like the televised depictions, but I was still pleasantly surprised by the environment. For example, it seems like the common image of a police officer is someone who wears a uniform and knows everything. The truth, however, is that they do not know everything, and they don’t have to. I have seen officers refer to their superiors for questions when they arise or find another source to verify the information. This both impressed me and helped clear up a misconception I had. It also reminded me that police are human beings first, law enforcers second.


jhackman • May 9, 2022

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  1. Lieutenant Chris McKim May 16, 2022 - 9:20 pm Reply

    Jada, It has been a pleasure to have you around the Department. Your pleasant attitude and intelligent conversation has brightened more than one day. We wish you the best, and we certainly hope we can work together in the future.

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