Applying Critical MIIS Skills to the Local Criminal Justice System [Courtney Connor NPTS ’18]

Profile of Courtney Connor smiling

This summer I participated in an internship at the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in Salinas, California. I was assigned to the position of Classification Intern at the Monterey County Jail. In this position, I was tasked with helping the Criminal Intelligence Specialist with various tasks and cases. My internship at the Sheriff’s Office allowed me…


This summer I participated in an internship at the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in Salinas, California. I was assigned to the position of Classification Intern at the Monterey County Jail. In this position, I was tasked with helping the Criminal Intelligence Specialist with various tasks and cases. My internship at the Sheriff’s Office allowed me the opportunity to gain experience in a field highly relevant to the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies degree that I am working towards earning at MIIS. I was able to use many of the skills and knowledge that I have obtained at MIIS in this position. 

Throughout the summer, my tasks at the Sheriff’s Office were many and varied. This position required a great deal of research and analysis. I was tasked with open-source intelligence gathering and analysis, tracking crime trends and patterns, and a plethora of other tasks. Each task presented allowed me the opportunity to apply my research skills to solving real-life problems, all whilst gaining a deeper understanding of law enforcement practices. 

I have a much clearer grasp on the procedures and processes involved in law enforcement intelligence analysis, along with legal issues pertaining to the investigation of cases.

Image of Monterey County Main Jail sign

Working in this position allowed me to learn various investigative and intelligence gathering techniques, whilst providing me with exposure to the field of law enforcement. From this experience, I have a much clearer grasp on the procedures and processes involved in law enforcement intelligence analysis, along with legal issues pertaining to the investigation of cases. I believe that this exposure allows me a greater understanding of what goes into investigations and analysis in general. 

During my internship search, I found myself looking for a position where I could use my language skills (Spanish, French, Chinese, or some combination of the three). I chose the Sheriff’s Office because it seemed to be a promising opportunity for me to use these skills – and it did not disappoint. Apart from skills directly pertaining to analysis, I was also able to use my Spanish language skills frequently. Due to the fact that the jail is located in Salinas, a region with a large Spanish-speaking population, my language skills proved to be highly useful in case analysis. As such, this internship provided me with my first opportunity to merge my skills learned from my language degree earned at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and the skills that I am learning here at MIIS. 

It allowed me to take the knowledge I have learned in my courses at MIIS, and apply it to real-life issues in the criminal intelligence analysis field.

Throughout the course of the internship, I was introduced to a plethora of open source methods used to gather, interpret, and compile data for analytic purposes. These tools will be useful both in my future career, and in my time spent conducting research for my classes at MIIS. After this internship, I feel much better equipped to think about and approach the issues presented in my classes from a view based on experience. 

Overall, this internship was an extremely valuable experience. It allowed me to take the knowledge I have learned in my courses at MIIS, and apply it to real-life issues in the criminal intelligence analysis field. I am very lucky to be able to continue this internship after the summer, and hope to share the knowledge that I have gained from this experience with my fellow classmates at MIIS.