This summer, there's a new face among the officers and support staff of the Fort Dodge Police Department.
Although Patrick Riley, of Fort Dodge, is not a new officer on the department, he hopes to become one thanks to his experiences as an intern with the FDPD.
A student at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn., who has also attended Iowa Central Community College, Riley said he's had a lifelong interest in law enforcement.
-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Patrick Riley, the Fort Dodge Police Department’s first intern, gets some oversight from Detective Steve Hanson.
"As long as I can remember, I've wanted to be involved in criminal justice," Riley said. "I had a family member who was a police officer, and I give him credit for inspiring me to become an officer."
Riley, who has been interning with the Police Department since May, has gotten a firsthand look at how law enforcement works.
"I've been meeting with the chief and seeing all the aspects of the department," he said. "I started in administration and saw what they do. I've been on patrol with the city and the county. I spent a few days working with the jail staff and I'm also working with the dispatch center."
He decided to intern with the Police Department to help him get credit for his college courses.
"With an internship you get more application to real-life situations," he said. "It gives you a different view. Sitting through a trial is much more different that reading about it in a textbook. It gives me a better view than seeing it on TV."
Police Chief Tim Carmody said it was decided to give Riley not just experience with the department, but other law enforcement agencies as well.
"We wanted to give him the full flavor from both the rural perspective of the sheriff's department and urban perspective of the city," Carmody said. "It's not just our department. There are other areas we can expose him to that will help him out in the application process when he starts looking for a job."
Carmody said this experience will make Riley a better candidate.
Riley said when he does have free time, he enjoys the outdoors.
"I like fishing, camping, basketball," he said. "I have fun when I can."
Carmody added that Riley's internship is a big step forward for the department, which has never had an intern before.
"This will help us create a new foundation to help our department and community," he said. "We've had a lot of positive reviews for Patrick, and this will allow us to be able to take our agency in a new direction."