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Four Years Later, KAA Scholarship Winner on Track with Career

Submitted by Clark Judge.

(April 19, 2022) — Four years ago, Trevor Hines was one of five high-school seniors to receive Killingworth Ambulance Association scholarships. A student at Haddam-Killingworth High, he said then that he planned to pursue a criminal justice degree at the University of New Haven and hoped to work with local law enforcement.

2018 scholarship winners (Trevor Hines 2nd from left)

So, what happened? What happened is that Trevor Hines is doing just that.

Now 22, he graduates from UNH this summer after completing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and an internship this semester that includes 150 hours of work with the East Lyme Police Department.

“I’m grateful,” he said, one afternoon over lunch at the local Dunkin’ Donuts. “I’m glad I chose what I chose. I think it’s a really interesting profession.”

Hines conceded he wasn’t always so certain. Nobody in his immediate family has a background in law enforcement. His father works construction. His mother once taught pre-school children. Older brother Jackson works with his Dad, while younger brother Cameron is still in college. So Trevor Hines is something of an outlier … at least within the family … and it has more to do with a friend he met when he began high school than it did a family member.

“My friend’s Dad was a (State) Trooper in Troop F (Westbrook),” he said. “He always had the car around and would talk to us about work. And he was always helping people, which I thought was interesting.”

Trevor Hines (R) with East Lyme Police Sgt. Jared Priest

That’s when Hines started thinking about a career in law enforcement. By the time he was a high school senior, he believed it was something he’d like to pursue. So, he did. He enrolled at UNH, so highly regarded as a leader in criminal-justice programs that it was once dubbed, “The Cop Shop,” and majored in — what else? — criminal justice.

Four years later, he has no regrets — especially now that he’s immersed in an internship set up through UNH’s Career Development Center.

It has Hines at the East Lyme Police Department Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, arriving somewhere around 9:00 each morning and sticking around until 3:30 p.m. After checking in with dispatch, he could be called on to file papers, go over reports, or tag along with an officer on what are called “ride-alongs,” with Hines in the passenger seat to serve as an observer.

He doesn’t wear a uniform. He is not armed. He is a college intern in civilian clothes who looks no different than he would at school … except for a bullet-proof vest he’s required to wear.

“He responds to calls with officers,” said East Lyme Lt. Dana Jezierski, with the East Lyme police 16 years. “If it’s something that’s not high-risk, he’s able to get out of the car and watch the investigation or whatever crime is being reported.

“He’s very responsible. He’s very mature. And he’s always asking questions, which shows he has an interest. He gets along great with the officers he rides with, and they speak highly of him.”

According to Jezierski, the department has run its internship for years, usually with Mitchell College of New London. Interest in the program, she said, is increasing, with two interns from Endicott College due this summer.

“We have them come in and talk about their goals for the internship and what the police department can offer them” she said. “With Trevor, he was interested in law enforcement. He wanted a better understanding of law enforcement and how it works.”

Apparently, he found what he was after.

“What I like most about this major is the internship,” Hines said. “I get to see how things are processed and how they do things, like how they communicate with dispatch. Seeing everything first-hand instead of hearing about it in the classroom is very useful. It’s like getting hands-on work.

Memo to UNH: He likes it. “For me to be able to go on ‘ride-alongs’ now and to be able to think about it, and say, ‘Hey, I’m really enjoying this’ … that’s important. A lot of schools don’t make you do an internship. So I really appreciate (UNH) putting you in a position to decide whether you really like it or not.”

Once upon a time, however, there was a feeling that Hines might want to pursue another career, with his grandfather, Jim Lally, saying he thought his grandson might become a game warden “because he loves the outdoors.” But there’s not much talk of that now. In fact, in two separate conversations over the past week, he never mentioned it. He spoke only of police work.

“He has a good sense of right and wrong,” his mother, Kristen Hines, said. “I think that would be something that’s a strength for him (in law enforcement). He really enjoys his classes (at UNH) and seems to have so much to tell us about case study and law. But he’s been enjoying this (internship). It’s been eye-opening for him. It’s his first chance to get one-on-one time to be involved with what he loves.”

So what’s next? Hines, who started his internship in early March, has more than 100 hours on the job. That means he has approximately three weeks left in East Lyme, after which he returns to UNH to complete his last semester with a full schedule. And then?  Well, then, he said, he has one “wrap-up class” during summer semester … then a diploma … then on to what he hopes is a career in local law enforcement.

“This experience,” he said of the internship, “has had more of an impact on … not what I want to do but where I want to do it. When you work in a smaller town, you definitely work with people who are more familiar with your face. They want to have conversations with you, as compared to bigger cities where it can be harder to achieve what you’d call community policing. So (I’d like to work in) something like East Lyme or maybe the State Police; something like Troop F where you could be a resident.

“I like to talk to people. I think growing up I was kind of shy, and that was something that was hard for me. But, as I got older, it was something I was more interested in. So I’ve been pretty happy with my choice. I definitely had my doubts along the way, but the internship has made me want to this more as opposed to before. Now that I’ve learned a lot of things and talked with police officers, I’m really excited about it.”

Photo provided by Clark Judge.

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