From Intern To Cop

Abney Bernardini, IV Leader Staff

The Web site for the Ottawa Police Department states their mission: “to provide law enforcement services with integrity and dedication.”

Dedication is something that builds up over time for most, but not in the case of young Maryssa Adams. This past summer Maryssa, an IVCC Criminal Justic major,  began her internship with the Ottawa Police Department.

She was full of expectations and dedication for a career she is only beginning. She was brought out on patrols with officers who have years of experience. She enthusiastically waited for the call, and when it came she was usually told they would not be responding, but a different unit would instead. This didn’t disgruntle Maryssa though, because before long her turn to protect and serve presented itself.

On the night of July 26, her unit was out patrolling like any other night when they received the call. As Maryssa says, “When you get the call you go.”

When they got to the scene, Maryssa’s presiding officer stationed her behind a tree and ordered her to stay there until she received further orders. He then took off to his position. It didn’t take long for Maryssa to edge away from the tree seeking out a new site

She wandered towards a narrow alley shining her flashlight out in front of her. Before she even could register what was happening she was right in the path of the two suspects.

She was roughly shoved as they tore past her, thus beginning the pursuit. She chased the suspects from Jackson Street to Elm and Madison.

She noted it was an interesting sight to see a girl in her pink hoodie chasing these men. Onlookers walking their dog even yelled out to her, wondering what she was doing. This didn’t slow down her pursuit though; at one point, she side tackled one man.

When asked what was going through her mind at that point she replied, “I was thinking what do I do when I get him to the ground.”

The suspect quickly got away from her attempted apprehension. She chased the two men a total of 10 blocks.

At that point they had reached a garage just a few seconds ahead of Maryssa. The two men quickly barricaded themselves in the garage; meanwhile, Maryssa used a bystander’s phone to notify dispatch. Minutes later, officers arrived breaking into the garage and arresting both men for consumption.

What will be Maryssa’s next adventure? The sky is the limit for this young Criminal Justice major. In comment Maryssa jokingly said, “to be on a cop show would be cool.”

Still, no matter where Maryssa goes. she will always remember her internship and the dedication needed for a career in law enforcement.

Maryssa is currently studying at Illinois Valley Community College and will complete her associate’s degree this year. She will graduate as a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society at IVCC.