Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently welcomed 20 high school students from Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere to participate in the Department’s Fourth Annual Summer Enrichment Program.
Launched in the summer of 2014, the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) was created to provide summer employment for Suffolk County teens who are interested in pursuing a future career in law enforcement. These paid internships are targeted for high school juniors and seniors who have an expressed interest in learning about the criminal justice system with a focus on law enforcement, the court system, social work and several other related fields of employment.
The program was also envisioned as an opportunity to bring together uniformed officers and young people for the purpose of fostering positive relationships between them.
“We put this program together for a couple of reasons,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “The first reason was that we wanted to get young folks interested and involved in having careers within the criminal justice system. A lot of people don’t really understand what law enforcement — particularly corrections — is all about, and we wanted our participants to experience it from this vantage point so that the people who are thinking about employment in the field of criminal justice will get a real understanding about what goes on here.”
“I’ve always had a profound interest in serving the community that has served me,” said Emanuel Galvoa, an SEP participant from Dorchester. “I really want to help bridge the relationship between communities and law enforcement.”
As part of the program, participants learn about the inner-workings of law enforcement through job shadowing, weekly presentations by members of law enforcement, roundtable discussions, law enforcement-related field trips, and educational tours.
Along with Sheriff Tompkins and members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, SEP participants will hear from representatives of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations), U.S. Marshals, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Boston Fire Department – and others – that will provide SEP participants with the opportunity to learn about multiple organizations and network with people from their particular field of interest.
“I am really excited to acquire an even greater understanding of not only corrections and policing, but also different organizations such as the U.S. Marshals,” said Katherine Gutierrez Orrego a participant from Revere.
Over the duration of the summer, participants of the program gain a wealth of exposure to law enforcement professionals and organizations and learn transferable job skills that can help them in their future career endeavors.
“Our students come from diverse backgrounds and have different career paths that they are interested in,” said Nadia Lovinsky, Coordinator of the Summer Enrichment Program. “It is our hope that with this program, we can help to guide our participants toward a prosperous career in the field of criminal justice.”