Rosie Calamanco is pretty sure she wants to be in law enforcement after she finishes her schooling, so it seemed natural for her to intern at the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

“I thought it would be a cool experience to work with police units because that’s the job I want to go into when I’m older,” Calamanco said.

Her direct supervisor is Sheriff Dan Limoges, but she’s worked with a number of the deputies. Mostly, she rides along with them as they serve papers, but she’s helped transport an inmate and been in on a few traffic stops, too. That’s where she learned a lesson that stuck with her.

Rosie Calamanco, Jim Prouty

Elk Point-Jefferson senior Rosie Calamanco and Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Prouty get ready for a patrol as part of Calamanco’s internship.

“One officer told me that if he goes to pull someone over, he has to decide whether he’s going to write the ticket or just give them a warning before he goes up to the car,” Calamanco said. “Because he might know the person. But if he’s already decided, then it doesn’t matter if he knows the person.”

Calamanco spent one afternoon sitting in on dispatch. Limoges said she was on the radio, keying up dispatch, and did a good job. She’s met with District Court Judge Tamu Bern, who said Calamanco may get to sit in on some court proceedings.

There are some limitations to what an intern can do. Because she’s still a juvenile, Calamanco can’t spend much time in the jail. However, after she turns 18 in January, she will be allowed into the jail, although not in the general population. Limoges said she can be in the hallways and sit in on bookings. She’ll also start helping in the evidence room, sorting through property that is ready to be released.

“It’s different in real life when you’re actually doing it,” Calamanco said. “The opportunity is exciting because it’s cool that I’m actually doing this. But then sometimes there’s a lot of paperwork.”

Calamanco is learning to fill out reports, which can be very specific and time-consuming. However, Limoges said the paperwork is much easier now, with the online state reporting system. It’s not like the old days when he filled it out by hand and mailed it in.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.