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Criminal Justice Student Internship Leads to Fundraising for a K-9 Unit

During the summer of 2020, Riley Landry, a Valdosta State student and Criminal Justice major, had the fortune of participating in an internship with St. Mary’s Police Department (PD) of Camden County, Georgia. Riley was selected for this honor by Criminal Justice faculty member Dr. Rudy Prine who connected with St. Mary’s Police Chief Mike Wilkie, himself a former Valdosta State graduate, about the possibility of the department undertaking a student intern. With his own aspirations of joining law enforcement post-graduation, Riley proved to be an excellent fit for his newly-created position. From the first day of his internship, Riley explicitly requested that his internship be a true representation of what life in law enforcement is like, and, with this request in mind, St. Mary’s PD provided no shortage of interesting experience-building tasks for Riley ranging from both day and nighttime ride-alongs to becoming taser certified (a process that, famously, places aspiring course members on the opposite side of the stun device). As he stated, “I was able to do whatever I could within a legal boundary.” Through the entire process, Riley was able to network with current members of other law enforcement and public service divisions such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Natural Resources, and Georgia State Patrol. Mr. Landry’s internship was, by all measures, triumphantly successful.

Photo of the check being received by Officer Clifton Quinn of St. Mary’s PD who is heading up the new K-9 division. Pictured left to right are Chief Mike Wilkie, Officer M. Fortner, Officer A. Frizzell, Officer Quinn, Mr. Landry, LT G. Nichols, Detective C. Williams, LT C. Winkle, and Detective M. Gilliland.

Here, most students would move forward with their newly acquired lessons and experiences, but that is not what Riley elected to do. Instead, in an effort to thank St. Mary’s PD for allowing him the opportunity they did, Riley elected to fundraise $1,000 towards the development of a K-9 Unit for St. Mary’s PD. During Riley’s internship, he observed the staffing and resource challenges for St. Mary’s PD which served as the impetus for his extremely kind action. Riley was able to raise the money via a public social media fundraiser and had the honor of returning to St. Mary’s to present the officers with the check. Riley plans to graduate in May of 2021 and has career aspirations of working with K-9 units at some point in the future. He is a model example of a student who invested effort both inside and outside the classroom to simultaneously achieve his own academic goals while also helping the community.


One thought on “Criminal Justice Student Internship Leads to Fundraising for a K-9 Unit

  1. Excellent recognition of a outstanding student! Riley approaches everything he undertakes with as much enthusiasm! How do I know? I’m his grandmother! Great kid and outstanding citizen! Love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

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