Interning for the Bureau

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CATEGORY: Internships
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: American Studies, Anthropology

By | Andrea Wilhelmi '14

Calvert participated in a role play about stopping shooters in schools, which gave him a better idea of how law enforcement professionals handle gunmen

What happens when the President of the United States visits the Twin Cities to meet with the Minneapolis police chief? Collin Calvert ’13 (Lincoln, Neb.) got to find out last year when he interned with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Searching social media sites for keywords, he helped prepare a threat assessment of the area where President Obama would be visiting. Thanks to Calvert’s work, civilians and law enforcers knew what possible dangers to be aware of that day.

Calvert first became interested in law enforcement during his sophomore year at Macalester. His self-proclaimed “love for American studies” drove him to seek a summer research position with American studies professor Karin Aguilar San-Juan. The pair investigated ways to combat racism in the prison system and to keep juveniles out of prison. 

However, Calvert says, “like any good anthropology major, I wanted to get the police perspective” on law enforcement as well. And thanks to the diverse team that makes up BAC, Calvert indeed got a well-rounded look at many facets of law enforcement. For example, he participated in a role play about stopping shooters in schools, which gave him a better idea of how law enforcement professionals handle gunmen, as well as “a more informed perspective on gun control,” he says. He attended some of the bureau’s classes, as well, learning alongside police officers about child abuse investigations, interrogation tactics, and how to coordinate personnel during an emergency. 

In the course of his internship, Calvert discerned that a traditional law enforcement career wasn’t for him. “At first I thought I wanted to be a special agent,” he laughs. “But now I realize I’d rather be on the treatment or service side of things.” Today his career interests lie more in assessing the mental health of prisoners or doing social work with former prisoners. The internship, he says, has been “beneficial in giving me perspective and helping me discover what I really want to do.”

PUBLISHED: 06/14/2013