Updated in January 2023
Are you a current college student considering a career in law enforcement? Good news: You don’t have to wait until you graduate to get started.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is accepting applications for its College Internship Program in early January 1-31, 2023. This program introduces students to the various opportunities and career paths in law enforcement. For eight weeks, interns:
- Work with CMPD personnel in a range of assignments throughout the department;
- Are exposed to effective problem-solving and partnership-building skills; and
- Gain a better understanding of the day-to-day operations of a police department.
Many current CMPD officers and recruits started their journeys to the badge through the internship program. Here’s what Officers Eric Lansinger and Keshon Jones, members of Intern Class 001, and Officer Brendan Calvert, member of Intern Class 002, have to say about their experience:
What’s your favorite memory of your time as a CMPD intern?
Officer Lansinger: I have many good memories. If I had to choose one, it would be riding in the helicopter with Keshon and Kaylee. All of the interns got along very well, but when Kaylee, Keshon and I were together, it was non-stop laughter.
Officer Calvert: My favorite memory from the internship would honestly be the relationships I built with the other interns. I really looked forward to spending my days with our group.
What was the most unexpected thing you experienced or learned as a CMPD intern?
Officer Calvert: Definitely how much of the department I was exposed to. I met a lot more people and saw a lot more than I thought we would, which was awesome. I needed extra hours for my internship required by my college, and the department helped me out and allowed me to work with the Firearms Training Unit for two extra weeks, which was definitely equally unexpected and awesome.
Officer Lansinger: I never really understood how much work goes into a single case, as far as the investigative side of the job, until I saw it firsthand as an intern.
How did your time as an intern prepare you for your career with CMPD?
Officer Jones: I experienced a small taste of what the actual BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training) academy would be like. I learned ways to keep myself in shape, and I learned how to change my mindset to get me through the tough times I would later experience as a recruit.
Officer Calvert: Practically speaking, getting to know the department and the people makes the transition a lot less intimidating and easier to manage. Otherwise, though, having the structure and semi-Academy feel of the internship that is unique to CMPD starts setting up essential qualities like discipline, time management, communication, grit, etc. that are not only essential for the Academy but also to be an officer.
Officer Lansinger: After the internship was over, I became a CMPD College Cadet, which was very helpful to prepare for the Academy.
What advice would you give the next class of CMPD interns?
Officer Lansinger: Be a sponge. Learn as much as you can, and have a good time. I love being a police officer. This internship opened my eyes to CMPD, and I haven’t looked back since. I am very blessed and thankful to have been a part of this program.
Officer Calvert: CMPD has a completely unique internship experience. Take it for what its worth, and it’s worth a lot. Soak up the knowledge and experience of the officers around you and allow them to teach you what they know, and they know a lot. Hard work and open minds go a long way not only in the internship but as officers.
Ready to get a jump on your application? Here’s what you need to know:
- You must be currently enrolled in a college or university as an undergraduate or graduate student.
- Your qualification process will include an oral interview, background check, drug test and polygraph exam.
- You must meet and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.
- You must be able to work varying hours and a minimum of 40 hours per week during the eight-week program.
- We expect interns to have strong research, analytical, organizational and communications skills.
As a CMPD intern, you’ll work in an investigative, support services and / or field services group for the length of your internship. In addition, you’ll participate in at least five ride-alongs, and prepare and submit a final paper and oral presentation about your experience, lessons learned and whether you plan to further pursue a career in law enforcement.
For more about the CMPD Internship Program and to apply, visit the City of Charlotte website.