Officer Stefan Schott pursued opportunity to train in United States, amid work in Frankfurt, Germany
A police officer who normally patrols Frankfurt, Germany, received the chance to perform some of his training in Quincy, Ill., through a partnership that began through a meeting six years ago at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
In 2011, Palmyra Police Chief Eddie Bogue met one of Stefan Schott’s police colleagues from Germany at the FBI Academy, and he contacted Bogue in December 2016 to request an internship opportunity for Schott in the United States. Bogue said he felt Palmyra was too small to give Schott the level of experience he sought, so he reached out to Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley — who quickly accepted the opportunity. Copley said Schott already possessed “street knowledge” through his work during a three-year training program in Germany, which consists of a combination classroom and street patrol. Schott said he pursued the internship on his own, and Copley said he was pleased that Schott joined the team for his three-week internship that concluded Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Schott lives in Mainz and works in Frankfurt, which is home to 700,000 residents and sports a daytime population of 1 million people. He noticed there are many similarities between police work in Frankfurt and Quincy, but he was quick to point out that close-knit feel during work in Quincy and living at Bogue’s home during his internship. Schott noticed that it’s tougher to organize fundraisers and establish close relationships in large cities like Frankfurt; in Quincy, he said he quickly felt a strong sense of community support.
“Memories would be the lifestyle over here. People are very friendly, how the public over here — especially in Quincy, I think it’s the size of the town — how the public interact with the police, and the other way around as well,” Schott said. “I think it’s a very good community over here.”
Schott also noticed a difference in the tools that officers use in the United States compared to Germany.
In Germany, police officers don’t have cameras, laptop computers, vehicle cages or Tasers, for example. Schott said those tools would be welcome for his police work in Germany.
“I would say the biggest differences over here, the officers spend much more time on the streets compared to us,” Schott said. “We have to get back to headquarters more often, write our reports and everything — and they can do it in just in their car, using their laptop.”
Schott said he won’t forget an experience during his internship that involved a man who was threatening suicide on the edge of roof, and Quincy Police officers received information he might have a knife in his pocket. The subject approached officers during the incident with his hands in his pockets, and Schott was convinced that using a Taser device was “absolutely the right thing” for the specific situation.
Afterward, Schott said the person thanked the officer at the hospital. He said he will make sure to recommend that tool to his colleagues in Germany. Schott, Bogue and Copley said they all learned and enjoyed the internship experience. Schott will graduate from in July 2018 with a Bachelors Degree.
“We are very fortunate that Chief Bogue came to us and asked if we wanted to participate,” Copley said. “And I think we learned as much as Stefan did on the difference and the likenesses in police work in two different countries.”
Trevor McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org