News & Features, October 2020

SAU students help N.C. law enforcement agencies diversify

Three criminal justice majors at Saint Augustine’s University have been accepted into the internship program at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. The students are Kevin S. Brown, Nia Cornegy, and Nikya Yates.

The photo attached to this email depicts the students in the internship program. From left to right the students are Nia Cornegy, Kevin Brown, and Nikya Yates. The picture was taken at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The internship program is part of an effort to combat implicit and intentional bias practices within the criminal justice system. Gov. Roy Cooper created the program when he signed Executive Order No. 145, which established the North Carolina Joint Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice and provided directives for cabinet law enforcement agencies.

Pursuant to the governor’s order, the state Department of Public Safety established a paid internship program with a special emphasis on students at historically black colleges and universities who are interested in a career in public safety. The purpose of the internship program is to recruit a workforce reflective of the entire community.

Students in the internship program will rotate through six public safety agencies to prepare them for future careers. Those agencies are Alcohol Law Enforcement, Community Corrections, Emergency Management, State Bureau of Investigation, State Capitol Police, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Getting the internships is a win for Saint Augustine’s University, according to James Lyons II, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice.

“It provides criminal justice majors at SAU access to opportunities, allowing them to engage with criminal justice agencies that serve diverse populations,” Mr. Lyons said. “The establishing of such an initiative demonstrates the recognition of how important inclusion and equity are within criminal justice agencies.”  

Brown is a senior from Baltimore, Maryland, where he was an officer with the Baltimore Police Department for seven years. In 2017, Brown completed an internship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Baltimore field office. He is currently the vice president of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society (Zeta Theta Chapter).

Cornegy is a senior from Queens, New York, and plans to become a forensic psychologist. She is a peer mentor and member of the women’s volleyball team at Saint Augustine’s University.

Yates is a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina and aspires to become a defense attorney, a prosecutor, or a sworn agent with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.