Purpose

To expose the student to real time, real world experience in the field of criminal investigations as performed by a county detective unit. Although the student will primarily work with a police detective, the student will also spend time with an Assistant District Attorney in the prosecution of a criminal case. Additionally the student will work with the Victim / Witness Assistance Department.

 

Background

The 611 square miles of Monroe County is comprised of 16-second class townships and 4 incorporated boroughs, with a combined population of approximately 170,000 residents. Three of the boroughs and all of the townships were settled in the 18th century. The county seat is Stroudsburg. The Office of the District Attorney is located on the first floor of the Courthouse. The Detective Unit is located in a former 19th century firehouse across the street from the Courthouse.

In addition to the District Attorney (an elected position), the Office of the District Attorney includes ten prosecutors (five full time and five part time), ten secretaries (including an office manager), four personnel assigned to the Victim/Witness Advocacy/Coordinating Unit, and the Detective Unit.

The Detective Unit consists of six full time detectives, including the Chief County Detective. Monroe County Detectives are sworn police officers with Pennsylvania Act 120 certification. Title 16 P.S. § 1440 of the Pennsylvania County Code regulates the appointment and duties of the county detectives.

While all detectives are authorized to, and often do, investigate any type of criminal offense, each detective has a specific type or types of crime that he or she specializes in. These specialties include:

  • Major crimes (murder, robbery, arson) and terrorism
  • Sexual offenses (rape, sexual assault), child abuse, and domestic violence
  • Economic Crime (theft, fraud, embezzlement, ID theft)
  • Internet Crimes Against Children (child pornography, child luring) and other Internet crime
  • Gangs and Public Assistance fraud
  • Narcotics
  • Human Trafficking

 

The Intern Program

The internship program runs a minimum of 12 weeks and requires the student to work a 40 hour work week (generally 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs). Starting and ending dates will be established by the intern’s university.

The intern will be assigned to a primary county detective. That primary county detective will supervise the intern. Although the intern will generally work with the primary detective, from time to time the intern will be assigned to others within the District Attorney’s Office, to include other detectives, prosecutors (Assistant District Attorneys) and, for at least one day, personnel from the Victim / Witness Advocacy unit.

The primary county detective will complete a work performance evaluation at the conclusion of the program. A copy of that evaluation will be provided to the student’s university’s practicum coordinator.

Interns are not to engage in any activity that involves risk of harm, injury or illness. Interns are expected to observe and report only and are not to get physically involved in any arrest or confrontation.

This position is non-paid. The intern must submit to a background check to include a criminal history and driving record. To complete this background check the intern must provide, at minimum, their full name, current address, date of birth, and social security number. The intern must have a clean criminal history and a valid and current driver’s license. The intern must agree to and sign a confidentiality agreement, provide proof of private medical insurance coverage, and agree to indemnify the Office of the District Attorney regarding liability.

 

Orientation

During the first week, the intern will meet with the primary investigator and be given a tour of the Courthouse and Detective Center. The intern will meet with the District Attorney, Office Manager, Victim / Witness Coordinator, Chief County Detective and each of the Unit’s Detectives.

Additional briefings will cover:

  • Job descriptions and current work assignments for each of the county detectives
  • How detectives receive work assignments
  • How investigations and special projects are opened and worked
  • The elements of criminal prosecution, including:
    • Police Criminal Complaint & Affidavit
    • Arrest Warrants
    • Preliminary Arraignment
    • Preliminary Hearing
    • Discovery Process
    • Arraignment
    • Plea agreement or trial
    • Pre-sentencing Hearing
    • Sentencing
  • Tours of the following institutions/departments:
    • Monroe County Public Safety Center (911 and Emergency Management)
    • Monroe County Correctional Facility
    • Stroud Area Regional Police Department Headquarters
    • Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department Headquarters
    • Pocono Township Police Headquarters

 

The Work Week

As previously stated, the intern will be assigned to a primary detective. The intern will work with that detective as an “assistant”, participating in the opening of files/projects; interviewing complainants, victims, and witnesses; interrogating and interviewing suspects; collecting evidence; examining and processing crime scenes (generally under the direction of the specific police department specialist); preparing and filing reports; and providing support in the prosecution of criminal cases.

In addition to working with the primary detective, the intern may be assigned to assist with other unit detectives based upon the current situation / work load. Generally, the intern will be assigned to detectives whose assignment(s) will best expose the intern to the inner workings of the Detective Unit.

Members of the Detective Unit actively participate in the Monroe County Drug Task Force. The intern may participate in Drug Task Force operations (elective) to include investigations, surveillance, execution of search warrants (as a distant observer), execution of arrest warrants (again as a distant observer), and the processing of the defendant (interrogation and interview, photographing and fingerprinting, arraignment, posting of bail / delivery to the Correctional Facility). The intern will attend and observe the Preliminary Hearing and any subsequent court proceedings.

At some point during the twelve week program, the intern will be assigned to a prosecutor. The intern will review the police / prosecution file, and accompany the prosecutor to a Preliminary Hearing. The intern should observe at least one prosecution in which a Preliminary Hearing is held (meaning that the prosecution must present a prima facie case to substantiate the crimes being charged), a Preliminary Hearing which is waived (meaning that the defendant acknowledges the evidence of the prosecution will substantiate the crimes charged and waives the charges to the next level of Court), and a Preliminary Hearing in which a plea agreement is reached.

The intern shall also attend a criminal trial, beginning with a case review, jury selection, opening statements, case-in-chief, defense, rebuttal, closing statements, jury charge, and finally, jury decision.

At least once during the twelve week program, the intern will work with the Victim / Witness Coordinator. The Victim / Witness Coordinator is charged with assisting crime victims, witnesses, and significant others throughout the criminal justice process. They are responsible for insuring that victims and witnesses are treated with dignity, respect, and compassion, and to provide the services required under the Crime Victim’s Bill Of Rights as mandated by the State.

This program has been implemented to allow a student in the Criminal Justice field to observe and participate in all facets of a Criminal Investigation and due process through the Criminal Court System. It is the intention of the District Attorney’s Office, and the Detective assigned to the intern, to offer the intern a hands-on experience which will enhance their traditional course of study at their university.