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Charleston Police Department Internship Program

Purpose

The intent of the Internship Program is to offer college students, who are interested in a possible career in law enforcement, a rewarding and insightful experience by providing an educational program working in various divisions within the Charleston Police Department. The student intern will be given the opportunity to learn and observe general law enforcement methods and the procedures of the Charleston Police Department. The intern will work with experienced police officers, and other non-sworn employees to further his/her opportunities for a career as a sworn police officer.

Policy

In order to enhance the quality of people entering the law enforcement profession in general and to facilitate recruitment efforts, the Charleston Police Department will actively participate in an Internship Program for college students who are studying criminal justice related or related programs. The Chief of Police will determine the number of internships that will be authorized during the semester to limit the impact on the departmental operations.

Payment/Time Commitment

Interns will receive no monetary payment for participation and must complete 120 hours at the Charleston Police Department accumulated over the semester. The Internship Program is designed for the intern to rotate to the various divisions and programs within the department. The schedule of the intern could change from week to week depending on the assignment. All attempts will be made to work around the intern’s class schedule.

Coordination

The Recruiting Sergeant for the Charleston Police Department is responsible for designing the student intern's schedule and overseeing the intern's progress throughout his/her stay with the department.

Eligibility

  • Interns must be 18 years of age or older; 
  • Must be currently enrolled in a college/university criminal justice or related program; 
  • Must be at considered a junior or senior at the college/university;
  • Must be recommended by his/her instructor or staff member of that respective educational institution;
  • Must successfully pass an application and background check performed by the Charleston Police Department;
  • Must be willing to complete any and all waiver requests;
  • Must agree to abide with all program requirements and rules; and 
  • Must agree to abide with all program requirements and rules.

Application

A. Prospective student interns who apply for the program must have an academic referral by a professor or advisor from an accredited criminal justice program or criminal justice department of a college or university.

B. Prospective student interns will submit a resume, cover letter and an Intern Application prior to being considered for an interview.

C. The Recruiting Sergeant will conduct a detailed review and evaluation of each application and resume to determine if the applicant meets the minimum recommended requirements for the position

D. An oral interview will be conducted by the Recruiting Sergeant to evaluate the applicant’s overall fitness for the position, including professional appearance, self-expression, mental alertness, and suitability for internship duties as well as the applicant’s educational record and interest level in a law enforcement career.

E. After the interview, the applicant will complete and sign an Authority for Release of Information Waiver.

F. After a background check of the applicants, a recommendation to accept an applicant into the program will be made by the officers participating in the selection process through the chain of command to the Chief of Police.

Background Investigation

A. A background investigation will be completed on each applicant prior to acceptance by the Charleston Police Department as a student intern. The background check will consist, at minimum, of the following: 
  • A criminal history check with appropriate criminal justice agencies 
  • NCIC Query 
  • Academic criteria may be required 

B. The institution and the student will be notified in writing of the approval or rejection. Only when the final approval has been given by the Chief of Police may the intern be admitted to the Student Internship Program.

Waivers

Interns must sign a Waiver of Liability and a Ride-Along form approved by the Charleston Police Department before participating in the program. Copies of the documents will be retained by the Recruiting Sergeant at the Charleston Police Department.

Scheduling

A. A schedule of activities will be developed, in memorandum form, for each student intern. The schedule will identify the dates, times, locations, and number of hours the intern will work on/in each shift, unit or division within the agency.

B. Each shift, unit, or division commander involved will be consulted to ensure there is no conflict with the scheduling of a student intern.

C. Once finalized, a copy of the schedule will be sent to the following:
  • The student intern
  • Each shift, unit, or division commander listed on the schedule
  • The student intern file maintained by the Recruiting Sergeant

D. The dates and times on the schedule could change based on police department operations.