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Dog Days of Summer

Internship with campus police K-9 unit paves the way for senior’s future 

Summertime, and the campus may not be bustling as usual. However, there is still important work being done at Bridgewater State University. Just ask Alysiana Cruz, ’24, who secured an internship with the Bridgewater State police department over the break  

It is the first time BSUPD offered a summer internship.  

I was having a hard time finding an internship until Diane Bell and Aboubacar Diakite helped,” Cruz said.  

Bell, who serves as vice president of Outreach and Engagement and oversees the Rising Bears program, and Diakite, the BSUPD liaison in charge of the Building Bridges program, are both keen on helping students find the careers of their dreams.  

Rising Bears was developed to help prepare students of color and/or first-generation students for the workforce, while Building Bridges was established to create a partnership with the BSUPD to help close the divide that sometime exists between police and members of the campus community.   

"I wanted to intern with any police department, but more specifically one that had a K9 unit,” Cruz said.  

It just so happens that the BSUPD has a K-9 unit but didn’t have a current opening  

During the school year, the department had previously hired two interns to work with its two K9s: Zach, a community resource dog and explosive-detection K-9, and Mikey, a facility dog that works with community members and first responders. 

When approached by Bell and Diakite, the BSUPD welcomed the idea of adding a summer intern to work with the dogs.  

“In terms of my career, I want to work with K-9s, so when I learned that this opportunity was available, I was excited,” Cruz said.   

She applied, went through the interview process, and was hired.   

It’s been an educational experience. I learn something new every day. I’m gaining a lot of knowledge about the K9s and when I enter the academy I’ll bring that knowledge with me,” Cruz said.  

Being able to intern in the summer months has also proven to be beneficial in other ways.  

It’s been helpful because during the school year, things can get hectic. Being able to have this opportunity during the summer months allows me to give more attention to the job, it helps me to better focus on my career path,” Cruz said   

As she gets ready to start her senior year this fall at BSU, Cruz said she feels better prepared for what’s next and is more confident in her decision to pursue a career in law enforcement with plans to take the state civil service exam next year.   

I’ve been able to learn about the protocols and procedures of the BSUPD and understand the roles that both Mikey and Zach play on campus, how they work and engage with the community,” she said. It’s been a very positive experience and I definitely think this internship has helped me reach my goals, learn new things and I now have great references to get me where I want to go.”  

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