Buies Creek, N.C.-Campbell University student Donna Diaz, of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., had her sights set on a law career until she delved deeper into her Criminal Justice/ Pre-Law major. Diaz, who just completed an internship with the Harnett County Sheriff's Department, said riding around in a patrol car and being on the scene of a homicide helped seal her decision to become a law enforcement officer.
"The more I got into law enforcement, the more I realized that it is what I wanted to do," Diaz said. "Dr. Bruce Gay, one of my professors, was also a big influence. He is a former police officer and member of a SWAT team."
From June 15 through July 10, Diaz shadowed sheriff's deputies in practically every area of law enforcement during her internship with the Harnett County Sheriff's Department. She worked with detectives gathering evidence at a homicide scene and understudied members of the CSI unit that processed the stolen vehicle involved in the murder case.
"I observed Detective Victor McLeod collect blood samples from the back seat and the suspect's bloody pants," she said. "It was fascinating."
In addition Diaz, who would eventually like to become a detective or work with a narcotics unit on the federal level, also rode with narcotics agents while they patrolled for drug deals and sat in on a court trial involving a man charged with child molestation.
"I really enjoyed every phase of my internship," she said. "Seeing the actual hands-on processes of law enforcement, the theories we learned in class actually applied was really interesting."
Campbell's Criminal Justice Administration major prepares graduates for a wide variety of law enforcement fields including crime solving, crime prevention, interdiction and intervention, educational programs, court systems, prison administration, security agencies, drug enforcement, technical analysis, state and federal investigative agencies and many other areas.
Diaz is the daughter of Rosa and Dionicio Diaz. She has two sisters, Roxanna and Sophia, and a brother Joseph. She is expected to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Campbell University in May of 2010. Diaz plans to go into Basic Law Enforcement Training as soon as she graduates.
Photo Copy: Campbell University student Donna Diaz