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What Are the Different Types of Law Enforcement Internships?

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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Many of the law enforcement internships that are offered require that students be enrolled in colleges or universities. Students who are interested in careers as a police officer or a highway patrolman or patrolwoman would be appropriate to fill these positions. Also, individuals who might be suited for future employment by a federal intelligence agency might consider these assignments. Local, state, and federal employers advertise the availability of summer internships months before the actual programs begin.

An internship in this field is ideal for a student who is studying criminal justice or law enforcement specifically. The assignment may be an unpaid opportunity, and interns should be prepared to do whatever is necessary at the law enforcement entity at first, including any clerical work, such as filing that might be needed. Projects can always be added once the internship has begun and relationships with peers begin to develop. Some agencies require that students receive college credits for fulfilling law enforcement internships.

State and local police departments are places where law enforcement internships may be available. These opportunities are sometimes advertised in local newspapers or online. It may be necessary for interns to live in the state or city where the programs are being offered, and students should inquire about any restrictions early on. Also, background checks are likely to be performed on all candidates before a student might be invited in for a formal interview process.

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The highway patrol office also might have internship opportunities available at the state level. Students who are interested in an exciting assignment where there will be direct interaction with law enforcement officials could be part of a number of different projects. Highway patrol divisions may be behind statewide marketing campaigns where the effects of dangerous driving behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or using a mobile phone while in control of a motor vehicle, are expressed. Students can participate in these initiatives throughout law enforcement internships.

Government agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S., similarly offer law enforcement internships. Students who obtain internships in this division might expect to be aptly prepared for future employment. These assignments are designed to provide interns with hands-on experience. The purpose of assignments at the DEA in particular revolves around preventing the distribution of illegal substances both domestically and around the world. Internship spots could turn up in various departments, including forensics, intelligence, and in the investigative division.

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