KOKOMO, Ind. — One Indiana University Kokomo criminal justice majors puts what he’s learned in the classroom into practice, as an intern with the U.S. Marshals in Indianapolis.
Twice a week, Cody Summers assists marshals at the Federal Courthouse as they transport inmates from prison to court and back, organizing and filing cases, cleaning out evidence storage, writing search warrants, and performing other tasks.
“This has confirmed my career choice,” said Summers, a senior from Peru. “I see first hand how federal officers work, what kinds of jobs they do, and what the day to day job is like. Talking to them, I see that I have the same attitude they have. They want to be able to help people, and protect the community from criminals, which is what I want to do also.
He credits Beau Shine, acting assistant professor of criminal justice, for helping him find the internship.
“A lot of the professors here have those kinds of connections, to help make these opportunities possible,” he said. “I was surprised and excited to be an intern with the U.S. Marshals.”
Shine said criminal justice faculty collaborates with law enforcement agencies to make these internship opportunities available to students.
“We have a vision of bridging the gap between theory and practice,” he said. “Each of us works to connect with agencies and businesses that can provide our students the opportunity to apply what they learn in our classrooms to real-world settings.”
With a goal of a career in federal law enforcement, Summers likes getting a realistic look at what the job entails, rather than how marshals are portrayed in movies and television.
“People glamorize what they do,” he said. “I don’t think it’s as fast-paced as people think. It’s not gun slinging, chasing bad guys throughout the city. A lot of it is judicial security and getting search warrants and tracking people down.”
Summers also participated in IU Kokomo’s honors program, and said his criminal justice faculty helped him add individual projects to his classes to make it more rigorous, for his honors degree. For one of those projects, he interviewed detectives at the Indiana State Police Post in Peru.
“I got to meet a lot of cool people I don’t know that I would have been able to meet without my IU Kokomo connection,” he said.
After graduating in May, he plans to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice, and then apply for a federal law enforcement job, such as the F.B.I. or U.S. Marshals. He hopes the internship gives him a competitive edge when he applies.
“It’s being part of something that’s bigger than you are,” he said. “They have a more broad-based goal applying criminal justice at the federal level. The more wide geographical aspect of it interests me too.”
For Summers, law enforcement is more than a career — it’s a calling.
“It was a call to service feeling,” he said. “My dad was a police officer for almost 10 years, and I have always looked up to him. The decision was a combination of really digging deep to figure out what I wanted to do, and my dad as a role model, that made me realize law enforcement was the path.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.