Washington State University Intern Program

Intern Program


The WSU Police Intern Program is a cooperative effort between Washington State University’s Criminal Justice Program and local law enforcement agencies. Volunteer interns can receive academic credit in the academic program. Students interested in law enforcement-related careers gain valuable experience and knowledge by working with commissioned police officers while they perform their law enforcement duties. Students can participate in specialized training and contribute to the Pullman community.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Washington State University Police Intern Program to educate and involve students in police operations, to interest them in possible law enforcement careers, to build mutual understanding between the student population and the police department, and to develop Interns as well-rounded, law-abiding individuals. The education aspect provides knowledge of law enforcement’s function in the community and University whether entering the field of law enforcement or not. The Intern Program offers the exposure and training necessary to facilitate successful entry into the law enforcement profession; furthermore, Law Enforcement Interning seeks to instill a desire in its members to demonstrate law abiding habits, attitudes, and practices as contributing citizens of our community.

Entry into Intern Program

Individuals desiring entry into the Washington State University Police Intern Program will submit an official application and will be required to go through a criminal history and background investigation. In addition, each new Intern must participate in a selection process which may include, but is not limited to, an oral interview, Physical Agility Test, reference check, criminal background investigation, and a meeting with the Intern Coordinator and/or other members of the Washington State University Police department and/or the Intern Program. Any criminal conviction before or after entry into the program may be grounds for dismissal. Other criminal activities, without conviction, before or after entry into the program, may also be grounds for dismissal, and will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Due to the large amount of intense training throughout the year, the hiring process will be held only during the Spring Semester. Hiring may occur during the Fall Semester at the discretion of the Intern Coordinator and Intern Lieutenants. Once the application has been received, and the necessary tests and application processes completed, applicants’ names will be placed on a hiring list in order of their eligibility. Future hiring will be done in order off of that list.
In order for a student to be admitted into, and to retain membership in, the Washington State University Police Department Internship Program, they must be enrolled as a full-time student at Washington State University and must be able to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA. Interns will, at all times, conduct themselves appropriately as representatives of the law enforcement community. They will practice good moral judgment and skills and will present themselves in a professional manner. In addition, interns must be in good physical condition in order to meet the everyday demands of the law enforcement field.
Interns accepted into the program will be provided with an overview of the Washington State University Safety Division which will include a tour of the Safety Building and introduction to appropriate division personnel.


After being accepted into the WSU Police Internship Program, each intern is required to participate in a week long academy (approximately 70hrs) where the basic skills of law enforcement are learned.

The intern academy occurs during the week prior to the beginning of fall semester and is set-up and run by the intern Lieutenants and Coordinators. The intern command staff conducts early morning physical training each day and classes are attended in the morning, afternoon and evening. These training classes are instructed by WSU and Pullman Police officers that excel in specific areas of the field.

Academy Core Training

  • Radio Procedures
  • Traffic and Crowd Control
  • Ethics
  • Patrol Procedures
  • Criminal Law
  • Crime Scene Search/Preservation
  • Drug Identification
  • Handcuffing Procedures
  • Traffic Stops
  • Criminal Procedures
  • Defensive Tactics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • ASP Baton Certification (Criminal Justice Training Commission)
  • Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Certification (Criminal Justice Training Commission)
  • Mock Scenes

Program Benefits

Graduating interns walk away from WSU with a wealth of law enforcement knowledge and a head start in their law enforcement career. Interns learn many of the same skills that are taught in the Washington State Law Enforcement Academy and find themselves better prepared than their peers.

Participation in the WSU Police Internship program has proven to produce quality police officer candidates. Over 90% of WSU Police Interns go on to successful careers in the field of law enforcement.
Former WSU Interns have or are currently serving at the following law enforcement agencies:

City Police Departments

  • Bellevue Police Department (WA)
  • Colfax Police Department (WA)
  • Modesto Police Department (CA)
  • Hillsboro Police Department (OR)
  • Everett Police Department (WA)
  • Anacortes Police Department (WA)
  • Tacoma Police Department (WA)
  • Seattle Police Department (WA)
  • Lacey Police Department (WA)
  • Lake Stevens Police Department (WA)
  • Ferndale Police Department (WA)
  • Othello Police Department (WA)
  • Pullman Police Department (WA)
  • Redmond Police Department (WA)
  • Spokane Police Department (WA)
  • Vancouver Police Department (WA)
  • WSU Police Department (WA)

County Sheriffs Offices

  • Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office (WA)
  • King County Sheriff’s Office (WA)
  • Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MT)
  • Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WA)
  • Whitman County Sheriff’s Office (WA)

State Agencies

  • Washington State Patrol
  • Oregon State Police
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife

Federal Agencies

  • Department of Homeland Security – Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (AZ)
  • National Park Service – Ranger

Chain of Command

The chain of command has been established for the efficient operation of the Intern program. It is similar to the structure of the department. The chain flows from the lowest rank/position upwards to the top rank/position.

  • Full Chain Of Command
  • Intern Command Staff
  • Intern Promotion Process

Public Safety Director

The Public Safety Director is responsible for administrating the Washington State University Police Department and its programs. The Public Safety Director has final authority in all matters. The Public Safety Director is also the Chief of Police for the Washington State University Police Department.

Program Manager

The Intern Manager is the Washington State University Police Lieutenant. The Lieutenant is responsible for the program’s objectives and goals.

Intern Coordinator

The Intern Coordinator is a commissioned police officer who coordinates the operational functions of the program. The Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the Intern program, its functions, and recruitment. The Intern Coordinator is the liaison between the Intern Lieutenant and the Administration.

Intern Leadership Core

The Leadership Core for the Intern Program consists of the Intern Sergeants and Intern Corporals, with oversight by the Intern Lieutenants. It is the responsibility of the Leadership Core to work with the Intern Coordinator in the efficient operation of the program.
Intern Lieutenants

The Intern Lieutenants act as the program liaisons between the Intern Sergeants/Intern Corporals and the Intern Coordinator.
Duties include:

  • Responsibility for public and interdepartmental relations.
  • Providing administration of the program.
  • Organizing and presiding over all meetings.
  • Coordinating duties of appointed officers.
  • Coordinating monthly activities with the Intern Coordinator
  • Responsibility for compiling statistical data.
  • Delegating tasks to others.

Intern Sergeants

It is the Sergeants’ responsibility to see that all orders from superior officers are carried out in a timely manner. The Intern Sergeants acts as a liaison between the Intern Corporals/Interns and the Intern Lieutenants and/or Intern Coordinator. Duties include:

  • Keeping a current list of all members, complete with addresses and phone numbers.
  • Insuring that each member of their squad is ready for duty with the proper equipment and uniform.
  • Outlining squads with personal expectations and any expectations they have for their Sergeant.
  • Producing a detailed memo when needed to the Intern Lieutenants outlining individuals who are delinquent in hours.

Intern Corporals

Intern Corporals will act as a liaison between Interns and the Intern Sergeants when needed.
Duties include:
Assisting their Sergeant with his/her assigned duties.
Helping to coordinate squadron activities.
Keeping the organizational structure within their squad strong.


Each member will be informed of vacancies in intern Command Staff positions by a written/email announcement. Qualified members will have an opportunity to show an interest in the vacant position by a written response given directly to the Intern Coordinator(s).

Lieutenant Opening

To qualify for the Lieutenant position, the applicant must be an active member for two (2) semesters and on Command Staff for at least one (1) semester.

Sergeant/Corporal Opening

To qualify for Sergeant, the applicant must be an active member for at least one (1) semester. Process for PromotionMbr/> Qualified members who express an interest in a position shall give written notice directly to the Intern Coordinator(s). All candidates will go through an oral board which will consist of a panel which may include members of the Intern program, WSU Police Department and/or outside agencies. The oral board will be scored and the results will be passed onto the Intern Coordinator(s) who will make the final decision. The selected applicant will be notified in person or by phone within one week of the final interview.


A Police Intern is a college student working as a non-paid volunteer for the Washington State University Police Department. Interns work with commissioned police officers who provide supervision, training, and direction. Interns perform their duties under the general authority of the Public Safety Director at the Washington State University Police Department.

Interns will be expected to engage in a minimum of twenty (20) duty hours per month. Hour may include, but are not limited to, special and sporting events, training, special assignments, meetings, and unplanned call-outs. Eight (8) of the twenty (20) hours must be ride-along hours with either WSU Police or Pullman Police Department. Three (3) of the twenty (20) hours must be a foot patrol, booking, or bike patrol. Rides with agencies other than WSUPD or PPD will be plain clothes rides and requires prior approval by the Intern Coordinator(s).

Meetings will be scheduled at least twice per month, with the day determined at least one week in advance. There will also be at least one scheduled training per month. Due to the demands and skills required of the law enforcement field, all training sessions and meetings are very important, and are essential to the Interns’ success and safety as an Intern. Because of this, all meetings and training sessions are absolutely mandatory.
The Intern is a support person without regular police arrest powers. Duties may include functions normally assigned to an officer, except the responsibility for general authority to arrest criminal offenders. Duties normally assigned include traffic direction, crowd control, security at crime scenes, or investigation. Interns also participate in foot and bike patrol, and will also accompany a commissioned law enforcement officer, from participating agencies, on patrol ride-alongs.

Intern responsibility will normally be limited to observing and reporting. The Intern will not take enforcement action except at the direction of a commissioned police officer or Sheriff’s Deputy.

Although interns are not used in place of law enforcement personnel, they can supplement them. Interns can free officers so that they may concentrate on the most important aspects of their jobs. Utilizing interns to their full potential can bring savings in staffing levels within the department.


Interns at Washington State University continue training even after they’ve finished their week long interdepartmental training academy. Continued training throughout the year is meant to supplement and broaden an intern’s experience in the program and to benefit them in a law enforcement career. All trainings offered by the department throughout the year are mandatory for all interns unless otherwise noted. Below are lists of trainings in which interns participate.

Academy Core Training

  • Radio Procedures
  • Booking / Fingerprinting
  • Field Interviews
  • Report Writing
  • Criminal Procedures
  • Traffic and Crowd Control
  • Ethics
  • Patrol Procedures
  • Criminal Law
  • Crime Scene Search/Preservation
  • Drug Identification
  • Handcuffing Procedures
  • Traffic Stops
  • Defensive Tactics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • ASP Baton Certification (Criminal Justice Training Commission)
  • Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Certification (Criminal Justice Training Commission)
  • Mock Scenes

Additional Training

  • Computer Crime/Forensics
  • Oral Board Interviews
  • CART/Non-Lethal Weapons
  • Domestic Violence
  • Building Searches
  • Legal Studies
  • Collision Investigation
  • Public Contacts/Tactical Communications
  • Firearm Recognition/Training
  • High Risk Traffic Stops
  • Note Taking and Report Writing
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC)
  • DUI/Field Sobriety Training
  • Hostage Negotiator
  • Mock Scenes

Physical Fitness

Due to the demanding nature of the Law Enforcement field, Interns will be required to pass a Physical Agility Test prior to being hired into the program. Interns will also maintain a level of fitness which will allow them to effectively perform their duties. If a question arises as to the Intern’s ability to perform regular duties due to an apparent low level of health fitness, the intern may be required to submit to a physician’s examination and, if possible, bring health/fitness to an acceptable standard. If an intern’s fitness is in question, he/she will also be required to submit to a Physical Agility Test to be administered by the Intern Lieutenant or Intern Coordinator. Periodic PAT tests will be administered throughout each semester to make sure all interns are maintaining acceptable fitness standards.

Academic Credit

Interns can receive course credit for participation in the program through WSU’s CrmJ 490 class. Receiving credit is not mandatory to participate in the program. If an intern wishes to receive credit, they should contact the Political Science Department in Johnson Tower or visit the Thomas S. Foley Institute website. Interns who are receiving academic credit must notify the Police Department, and will be required to work no less than thirty (30) hours per month he/she is receiving the academic credit.