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Case Study: Job Shadowing

CORE gives student glimpse of police work


On a cold morning in February, Schenevus Central School sophomore Madison Massucci is standing outside Lt. Daniel Rommer’s patrol vehicle on the SUNY Oneonta campus. She is getting a firsthand look at the tools of the police trade. 

Madison spent the morning with the University Police department at the State University College at Oneonta as part of the CORE Institute’s job shadowing initiative. The Creating Opportunities for Rural Education (CORE) Institute, based in Milford, partners with six local school districts, including Milford, to enhance opportunities for area students to prepare for careers with regional employers.

When Madison arrived at the department, Rommer showed her the contents of a bag in the trunk of his vehicle, which contains everything from crime-scene tape to a tint meter — a tool that shows how dark a vehicle’s windows are (tinted windows that are too dark may be in violation of the law). First aid and other equipment — including a long gun  — are there as well.

Madison’s eyes grew wide as Rommer explained how the department is prepared for “active shooter” situations, such as the one that took place on the campus of Virginia Tech in 2007.

“Police have beefed up their arsenals since then,” Rommer said.

But as a report came in of a car that had gone off the road and into the ditch, Rommer reminded Madison that the day-to-day business of police work is much less dramatic.

“Everybody watches these TV shows on police,” Rommer said as he swiftly maneuvered the SUV out of the parking lot and headed toward the scene of the accident. “But your everyday routine is not chasing around robbery suspects. It’s a lot of traffic and parking tickets and things like that.”

After directing traffic at the accident scene until fire and rescue crews arrived, Rommer brought Madison back to the station, where Lt. Shawn Callahan gave her a tour of the facility.

After showing Madison a video of highlights from the most recent class of officers to complete the training course, Callahan mentioned that university police are the second-highest paid officers in the county, next to state police.

“It’s certainly something to think about,” Callahan said, handing Madison a recruitment brochure.


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