Around Campus

Internship Opportunities in Macomb

Male student sits at computer in Shelby Township Police Department

icon of a calendarAugust 5, 2019

icon of a pencilBy Patrick Dunn

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OU student, Zach Wood, envisioned a career with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. But his internship at the Shelby Township Police Department in fall 2018 sparked an
interest in community policing. Now, he’s in line to become an officer there.

The criminal justice major says Kimberly Byrd, OU director of field and student support, suggested the internship at Shelby Township PD and coordinated everything on his behalf.

“Many of our students live and work in Macomb County and want to secure jobs there,” says Byrd. “We’ve worked with the county for many years to place OU students for practical learning
experiences. Our students are able to network and open doors for future employment in the
communities they call home.”

When the Chesterfield Township resident began his internship at the police department, he was immediately impressed with the firsthand experience he received riding along with officers.

“They were so willing to not only answer my questions but show me anything I wanted to learn,” Wood says. “When we would be in a squad car on a stop, several officers would turn their laptops toward me. They told me they would go to the vehicle — but coached me through what I needed to do on the laptop.”

Wood also spent time learning about other areas of the police department’s work, shadowing the department’s court officer and dispatcher.

“I sent him through the gamut of the department,” says Lt. Jeff Bellomo, the Shelby Township PD’s intern coordinator. “It’s not just showing up for your tour of duty and then just riding with an officer all day.”

Bellomo, a 19-year veteran police officer, says that’s to give students a well-rounded experience to complement their classroom studies and prepare them for bigger things.

“We like to find our future ‘best-and-brightest’ when they’re in college. And, if they show promise, are ambitious and eager and display the attitude our chief is looking for, they have a fast track all the way up,” he says.

Wood says Bellomo was “super helpful” in guiding him onto that “fast track.” Wood became a Shelby Township cadet in Jan. 2019 — positioning him to potentially go on to the police academy and become an officer at the Shelby Township PD when he graduates from OU in April 2019. He expresses excitement about his new career pathway and says an internship with Shelby Township PD is “something I would suggest to anyone.”

“I was learning a lot and it was just something that really piqued my interest, seeing how officers affected people in a positive way.”

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