Volunteer work

Subject: Sociology
Type: Reflective Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 863
Topics: Criminology, Police, Social Work, Volunteering, Work Experience

The facility I visited was the Oxnard Police Department.  It is located at 251 South “C” Street in the city of Oxnard, California.  It is a law enforcement facility manned by police officers who are tasked with keeping the peace and order of the city and who are also trained to respond to emergency situations within their territory.  Police officers are the primary personnel or staff in the facility I chose.  Other support staff are also assigned to the facility to manage the numerous administrative tasks and keep the facility running.  The clients of the facility include ordinary citizens of the city who have peace and order issues or who are apprehended for disturbing the peace or for committing criminal acts.  The age range of clients covers a wide range from young children who are victims of crimes, or even perpetrators of crimes, and older adults who may be victims or suspects in crimes or of disturbing the peace.  There are also other legal personnel who transact with the station, mostly lawyers defending their clients, judges issuing warrants of arrest, and federal agents assisting in solving crimes in the city.

The goal of the project is to get to know the local police department, including their numerous responsibilities. The goal of the project is also to be informed about how the personnel deal with their daily assessment, differentiating how the work in the police department or how criminality differs from the medical field.  This project also set out to establish the similarities between the two facilities or fields.

Through the project, I was able to familiarize myself with the local police department, mostly police officers, other personnel, and their respective functions and duties.  I was also able to understand how tasks were divided in the police department, and how each of them carried out their functions.  There is a shared responsibility in the police department, with the most senior and most trained officer heading the facility.  He is supported by the different police officers who are assigned to different areas in the city and who are fully trained to carry out their expected tasks and responsibilities based on the needs and the urgency of their tasks.

Through the project, I established how the police personnel managed their daily assessments and I was able to establish that criminology is different from the medical field.  Health personnel seeks to save their patient’s lives and to manage their diseases and criminology seeks to resolve what, where, when, and who committed the offense, dispensing justice in the process.  Both of these fields of interest however seek to protect, preserve, and promote life (Sutherland, Cressey, and Luckenbill 12).  Police officers carry out functions to keep the peace and protect the life of the people, especially the innocent.  Medicine seeks also to protect and save lives, mostly by treating illnesses, performing surgeries to repair injuries, and in general, managing the physical and psychological health of its patients (Morrison, 96).

Based on what I observed, I felt at ease that there were people like the police officers at the Oxnard Police Department, who were doing their best to keep the city safe.  I felt touched and emotional about that because they were risking their lives every day for people like me.  I observed that the operations in the facility were more or less orderly and routine.  There was good camaraderie among the police officers.  I noticed also that things got hectic when there were reports of crime in the city which they had to respond to.  But they competently met those tasks and challenges.

I learned that it was important for the police officers to communicate and coordinate with each other because it would save time, and it makes them more efficient in managing their responsibilities and in meeting the challenges of their work (Henson 553).  I also learned that the Oxnard Police Department functions well because they have a good manager who corresponds with them frequently and who is firm, but very much approachable.  He displays competence which also inspires his people’s confidence.  This information would help me in my future as a healthcare provider by teaching me the importance of communication with other team members (Shepherd 290).  I need to be able to communicate well with other healthcare personnel in order to ensure that there is no redundancy of tasks, there are no errors in the conduct of necessary responsibilities, and that there is no conflict with other healthcare personnel (Milanovic 23).  I also learned that working with, instead of for, managers and other health personnel is an important attitude to adopt because it helps support a healthy and open work environment.

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  1. Henson, Billy. “Preventing Interpersonal Violence in Emergency Departments: Practical
  2. Applications of Criminology Theory.” Violence and Victims, vol. 25, no. 4, 2010, p. 553.
  3. Milovanovic, Dragan (Ed.). Chaos, Criminology, and Social Justice: The New Orderly (dis)
  4. Order. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997.
  5. Shepherd, Jonathen P. “Explaining feast or Famine in Randomized Field Trials: Medical Science and Criminology Compared.” Evaluation Review, vol. 27, no. 3, 2003, pp. 290-315.
  6. Sutherland, Edwin Hardin, Donald Ray Cressey, and David F. Luckenbill. Principles of
  7. Criminology. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992.
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