October 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

Sociology-Criminology Major Interns at Athens County Sheriff’s Department

Hailey Butterfield

Hailey Butterfield

By Hannah Leaker

Hailey Butterfield, a senior studying sociology criminology at Ohio University, had the opportunity to intern with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. She described the internship as one of her favorite experiences of college thus far.


In preparation for the internship, Butterfield received information regarding what she would be doing and what it would be like. However, as many people know, job descriptions are not the same as experiencing the job firsthand.

“Even though I didn’t know what events were going to happen upon arrival at the station, everything I witnessed during my internship was thoroughly explained to me,” she said.

She felt as if the “not knowing” always kept the internship exciting, but the thorough descriptions made her confident that she was always safe.

The Experience

Butterfield was the only intern during the summer of 2016 at the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. She shared that although this was intimidating at first, that without much time the other employees socialized with her and made her very comfortable working there.

She learned a variety of useful skills and information by interning with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and by working directly with the deputies. She shared that she gained knowledge of terminology used by the officers and was able to become comfortable with working in the field. Not only did she learn skills that she would need in order to pursue working with juveniles in rehabilitation, but she also picked up some skills that are beneficial in everyday situations. Such skills included learning from the deputies how to deescalate an issue or how to handle a situation based upon the age of child or teen.

“I learned a lot about how to be an authority figure without being rude and abrasive. It opened my eyes how they handle stressful situations. They rarely used force, and that shocked me. If I’m in a high-stress situation, I know how to handle that professionally without aggression,” Butterfield explained, showing pride in some of the skills she was taught.

The Importance of Internships

Butterfield’s experience was extremely beneficial to her future because she wants to work with juveniles in rehabilitation in the future. It was also a very personal experience to her because she has younger sisters, whom she would think about while involved with cases that involved children.

She recommends that everyone should try interning, and if so, to consider interning with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.

“Since it’s not a city department, it’s small and you get to have a great connection with all of the deputies,” she said. “To prepare, have an open mind and be prepared so see or do anything. You don’t know what you’ll be doing or how long it will take…. It was never high-stress personally, because there were no deadlines and they [the deputies] would explain things clearly and show me the Ohio revised code, and explain exactly what was happening. I felt comfortable because each situation I went into was explained clearly…. I loved the experience, If I could change one thing, I would have done it more often throughout the week because I only did it about two nights a week. I absolutely, 100 percent, loved this internship.”

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