Student experiences police work as Commander of the Day

St. Catharine’s Academy sophomore Samantha Medina spent June 3 as Commanding Officer at the 49th Precinct with parents Jose and Maria, as well as the precinct’s official Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Kevin Collins.

Sirens blaring, she made her grand entrance as the 49th Precinct’s Commanding Officer of the Day at a recognition ceremony at One Police Plaza on June 3.

St. Catharine’s Academy sophomore Samantha Medina assumed her role after submitting a winning essay in the Police Athletic League’s Commissioner for a Day essay contest.

 Upon learning of the opportunity to construct a plan for reducing crime in New York City in her English class, Medina said, “I’ve always liked law enforcement so I though it would be fun to come up with some ideas.”

The Co-op City resident said she based her idea of developing a 24-hour channel that broadcast local offenders from the highly successful crime show “America’s Most Wanted.”

She added that through the collaboration of the parole and probation offices, both of which are well versed on repeat offenders, a crime decrease was surely guaranteed.

“I had to put a lot of detail in my essay to get my point across,” she said about the two-page plan that took approximately four hours of careful planning and execution.

On May 19, Medina said she received the anxiously awaited letter in the mail. She won.

“I was just really happy when I found out,” she recalled. “I couldn’t wait to go to the ceremony.”

Her parents, Maria and Jose accompanied their daughter for the daylong excursion at the 49th Precinct while she assumed her role as Commanding Officer of the Day.

Her dad said it was a perfect fit. “Since she was a little girl she’s always wanted to be in law enforcement,” he explained.

After watching the morning’s roll call and uniform inspection, Medina said they got a behind-the-scenes look into what it means to be in the NYPD.

Having a special connection to the precinct, with her uncle working as a police officer at the 49th Precinct and her father as a probation officer, Medina said,

“My dad was familiar with everyone there so they treated us like royalty.”

Though she’s grown up around law enforcement, Medina said she was still surprised at how much the precinct varied from what’s commonly viewed on television.

She said her biggest shock came in the interrogation room where a detective showed an intimidation technique of breaking an already broken phone.

“I was surprised because I didn’t think they really did that,” Medina said.

Aspiring to be a FBI special agent, Medina said she’s going to begin her criminal justice career path by joining the 49th Precinct’s Explorers program this week.

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