Adam Schmidt has learned a lot about police work as a reserve officer in the York Police Department this summer.

“This job, it’s not always about putting that guy in handcuffs or drawing your gun,” said the 22-year-old graduate of Westfield State University in Massachusetts. “It’s all about community policing and building positive relationships.”

Schmidt works the night shift — from 6 or 7 p.m. until 2 or 3 a.m. — and is often the first line of defense along York’s congested beaches and downtown streets. The Sterling, Mass., native is one of a handful of summer officers who either bicycle or walk the beat in this coastal town, going where the cruisers can’t: the beach, the boardwalk and alleyways.

“After this job, you definitely see things in a different light,” said Schmidt, who hopes to go on to federal law enforcement somewhere in New England. “You learn that it’s not just a profession that I fell in love with, it’s a way of life.”