Pictured: Deputy Superintendent Mark LeBlanc, Captain Marisol Nobrega, City Manager Tom Golden, Superintendent Greg Hudon, and Chief DEI Officer Ineabelle Dominguez stand with the five interns from MCC's Criminal and Social Justice Program.
The Lowell Police Department (LPD), in partnership with Middlesex Community College (MCC) and the City of Lowell's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, has launched an internship program for students in MCC's Criminal and Social Justice Program.
Starting on Thursday, January 18, 2024, five students from the MCC Criminal and Social Justice Program will work as interns with the LPD, staffing police precincts to help extend their hours to the public.
The interns will get real world experience working with police, and will also get a two-hour ride along with an officer as part of their training.
The interns, who were selected by MCC and the City of Lowell DEI Officer, will staff police precincts on Bridge Street and Broadway on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 4:00PM to 10:00PM during the school semester.
The precincts are typically closed to the public during those hours, but the interns will now be on hand to greet members of the public who stop in for police services, or just to ask questions.
The program will give a diverse group of students opportunities to work with the LPD as the organization seeks to better represent the demographic makeup of the City of Lowell. The program will also help police with recruitment by exposing students to real world experience working with police.
"I'm pleased to welcome our five new interns who will help us extend the hours of our police precincts," said LPD Superintendent Greg Hudon. "This program will give MCC students a chance to work directly with police as they learn about criminal and social justice, while also helping Lowell Police to boost our recruitment efforts and keep our precincts open to the public longer. I want to thank the City's Chief DEI Officer Ineabelle Dominguez for playing a key role in bringing this program to fruition."
Dominguez thanked City Manager Tom Golden and Chief Hudon for approving the initiative.
"As the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, my primary objective is establishing the connection necessary in our diverse communities and cultivating an environment where everyone is acknowledged and appreciated and empowered," said Dominguez. "Through this, we can select an inclusive setting that celebrates our unique qualities and collective accomplishments, ultimately solidifying diversity as the foundation of our origination success."
"We are incredibly proud of our students for participating in this internship and we know they will represent the College and the Criminal and Social Justice Program really well," said Heloisa DaCunha, Chair of the Criminal and Social Justice Department. "I know they are ready to work and will bring their best into this role."
DaCunha continued on the importance of the opportunity: "This is an excellent opportunity for students to have real world experiences about content that we cover in our courses; it is invaluable for students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom. Within our curriculum we constantly cover procedural practices that happen in agencies such as a police department, and being able to practice what they learned in class will be very impactful to their learning. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to network with professionals currently working in the field and be exposed to various job opportunities while working at the precincts, and this will catapult their future career in a way that is beyond what we could do in a classroom. We hope that other Criminal Justice agencies will see the value in this partnership so we can continue to grow our internship offerings to students."