This summer, IWP student Kevin* completed an internship with the Command Information Center (CIC), a multifaceted unit within the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) that collects, analyzes, processes, and disseminates intelligence, coordinates field activities and multi-jurisdictional emergency management, monitors the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system on a 24/7 basis, and produces a daily, written report on major city-wide crimes for distribution to the entire police force with specific focus on the police chief and command staff.
During his internship, Kevin supported uniformed police officers who were given watch assignments for Washington, D.C.’s seven police districts. When a major crime occurs in the District — for instance, a shooting, stabbing, burglary, or suspicious package — these officers notify the public (via twitter), MPD response units, and the command staff. They also draft accounts of each incident for inclusion in the daily CIC report. Kevin assisted in the collection, processing, and dissemination of criminal intelligence.
“My work at MPD really provided me with practical experience,” said Kevin. “I had read about intelligence and written a lot of papers about it, but hadn’t actually done it until this summer.”
Kevin also helped detect gunfire sounds by using an audio surveillance tool known as ShotSpotter. He conducted sound analysis to determine if real-time sensors were identifying actual gunfire or extraneous noises such as helicopters or construction. The system integrates these audio files with street and terrain maps to allow CIC personnel like Kevin to use imagery and geographic intelligence to support nearby response units.
“The most interesting part of the internship was being able to see how the CIC coordinates with the units on the ground,” commented Kevin. “Hopefully I will be going into the intelligence field, and, although a police department doesn’t employ all the aspects of traditional intelligence, it is similar in many ways.”
During his internship, Kevin also observed interagency and multijurisdictional coordination. He was tasked with updating contact information for watch officers of the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI. In addition, he utilized trend analysis to identify criminal patterns in robberies, burglaries, and homicides.
Of his colleagues, Kevin comments: “All the police officers were very savvy. Their knowledge of everything that happens on the ground, especially in the areas they service, is phenomenal. It was an honor to work with them.”
Many thanks to IWP Career Director Derrick Dortch, who encouraged Kevin to apply for the internship.
*Name omitted for security purposes.