Student Spotlight: Tim Usher '17
Tim Usher is a junior from Laurel, Maryland majoring in Criminal Justice. This interview appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of SU Magazine.
What inspired you to pursue criminal justice?
I've literally wanted to be a police officer since I could say, “I want to be a police officer.” I have a few friends and family members who are currently police officers, and I have always looked up to them. Being a police officer, to me, means helping people every single day, and getting paid for it. Who doesn't want to do that?! I love interacting with people, and a combination of helping people and interacting with the public as a career just sounds amazing to me.
What led you to the Ocean City Police Department?
Aside from hearing through friends and family at home about what a great opportunity the OCPD internship is, we also had two OCPD officers come into my intro to Criminal Justice class during my freshman year. They talked about the great experience… so I immediately jumped on the opportunity and called that day to reserve a seat at the next testing date.
What were some of your responsibilities?
I was working in the booking and detention area of the Ocean City Police Department. In this job, I was responsible for transporting prisoners, searching each prisoner who entered our facility, gathering information and booking prisoners into our computer system, taking mug shots of each prisoner, assigning and escorting each prisoner to a cell in their respective circulation area (male, female, or juvenile), fingerprinting prisoners, escorting prisoners to their initial appearance with the District Court Commissioner, and the releasing of prisoners upon the completion of their initial appearance. I was also responsible for interacting with the general public, answering phones, collecting and releasing towed vehicles, handling parking tickets, and managing the grounds of the Public Safety Building.
Did you have any expectations for the job?
This job was pretty much all that I expected it to be. I have not had the opportunity to work on the road yet, but as far as working in booking and detention, I expected it to be enjoyable and a great experience, which it was. However, I was a little bit surprised as to how some of the prisoners acted. I knew people would be mad that they had been arrested, but I witnessed people… urinating on other prisoners, fights between prisoners, etc. I guess I expected the irregular behaviors, but those stood out to me.
How did your classwork prepare you for the internship?
I applied things I learned in corrections class and mental health class, as well as applying Spanish. You learn something in class, but you don’t always understand it until you do it.
How did this experience impact your plans for the future?
The experience from this internship completely supported and reassured my goals to become a police officer and further my studies in criminal justice. I had a great summer working with the Ocean City Police Department, and I am definitely looking forward to a great career in law enforcement!