Did you ever watch TV cop shows like "NYPD Blue" and wonder what it's like in real life? Thomas Marshall got that chance through an innovative program at Manville High School. It's called the Senior Practicum, and it gives 12th-graders who meet certain academic requirements the option of taking college-level courses at Raritan Valley Community College, getting paid in a part-time job, or performing community and other services in exchange for high-school credit hours.
Thomas, an 18-year-old freshman at RVCC who plans to major in criminal justice, eagerly pursued an opportunity to work with the local police in exchange for school credit. "I went to the police precinct every day and worked with detectives, dispatchers, and went out on the road with officers," he says. "I was there as they did the work."
So tell us, Thomas, any good dirt? "I'm not allowed to comment on specifics," he says, sounding a lot like Detective Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue." I can say that I was present when they handled a variety of situations. It wasn't all paperwork."
More than five years ago, Thomas, who graduated from Manville in June 2004, decided he eventually wanted to join the police force, and the internship has only strengthened that desire. "I've got a cousin who's on the Manville force," he explains. "I guess it's in my blood." Over and out.