Local News

Interns get first-hand look at sheriff's operations

SEBRING - Two students from the Criminal Justice Management Program at Webber International University are interning with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office.

The three credit internship allows students to experience duties of officers in various facets of law enforcement, a news release states. Students will see how various operations work, such as detention, judicial process, patrol, criminal investigations, central dispatch, and others.

"This gives the students a real feel for the day-to-day responsibilities of law enforcement and can help to confirm their career choice," a news release adds.

Intern David Gladding from Loxahatchee was pursuing a pre-law degree when he decided to join the criminal justice management program. He will get his degree in the first graduating class this May.

Coleman O'Gara, from Tampa, was in the security management track and decided to transfer to the program. He is slated to graduate this fall.

Peter Barone has been the driving force behind developing and implementing the four-year degree track.

This is the first official internship with the program, the news release adds.

Sheriff Susan Benton was pleased to have the interns on board.

"Programs like this allow us to interact with young people who want to be involved in the law enforcement profession. We are happy to provide this opportunity for them and we appreciate their interest in criminal justice," Benton said.

Chief Deputy Mark Schrader, an adjunct instructor at Webber International University, said: "This really gives the students an opportunity to see if they want to be in law enforcement as a career. Taking criminal justice classes is one thing; experiencing the job is another and the internship can let the students know if they really want to continue in this field."

O'Gara said: "This internship has been nothing but an eye-opening experience for me, getting the chance to actually see the day-to-day situations that take place in each field of the sheriff's office."

Gladding said interning with the sheriff's office has been an "amazing experience and has really shown me what every day officers' life is actually like."

For more information, go to www.webber.edu.

For more information on the program, contact Peter Barone at BaronePA@webber.edu.