Jun 21 2022

Coppin State University Students, Recent Graduates Join Police Executive Research Forum Summer Internship Program

Coppin PERF Interns

BALTIMORE  Five Coppin State University students and recent graduates are joining the Baltimore Police Department as interns, as part of a paid internship pilot program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins, Ph.D. joined Executive Director Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), and President David Wilson of Morgan State University, for the HBCU Summer Internship Program announcement June 21.

Through the innovative partnership, eight students or recent graduates of the two universities will spend the summer working in the Baltimore Police Department, learning about police operations, and offering insights on how policing in diverse communities such as Baltimore can be improved. 

“PERF is proud to fund this pilot program and eager to learn from the students,” Mr. Wexler said. “We hope this pilot will provide insight into building a national program. Communities are faced with unprecedented challenges in building trust with the police and attracting the best and brightest to serve. The profession’s complexities call for building bridges to the next generation of police officers, and HBCU graduates are critical to advancing the policing profession in a manner that reflects diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.” 

PERF is funding the pilot program through a generous donation from MacKenzie Scott. PERF will award each intern a $10,000 stipend for the 10-week (40 hours per week) internship, which will introduce the interns to a variety of policing-related experiences inside and outside the BPD. PERF will also closely monitor and evaluate the program for possible expansion to other jurisdictions in the United States where Historically Black Colleges and Universities are located. 

“Coppin State University centers our purpose and our partnerships around the needs of our students and our community. This internship is an opportunity for students to earn, while they learn more about the law enforcement profession,” said President Jenkins. “This is also a chance for them to envision how they can serve their communities in a meaningful way. My hope is this internship will enrich the lives of our students, help inform their choices, and support them as they consider careers in law enforcement after graduation.” 

The interns will be assigned to one of the following areas in the BPD: Operations Bureau, Special Investigations Section, Media Relations Section, Information Technology Division, Equity Office, Education and Training, Legal and Government Affairs, Consent Decree Implementation Unit, or Forensic Sciences Section. The interns will also participate in ride-alongs with police officers, shadow a commander for a day, travel to PERF’s offices in Washington, D.C., visit the training academy at the Anne Arundel County Police Department, meet and ask questions of police chiefs throughout Maryland, tour the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and visit numerous community-based organizations and criminal justice partners serving Baltimore City. 

“Mentorships and on-the-job training often open doors that can lead to potential careers for the future leaders and members of our workforce,” said Commissioner Harrison. “I am looking forward to working with these interns to help pave a path to their success – and, potentially, bring new, energetic, thoughtful members to the Department.” 

The program will conclude with each intern completing a capstone project, including a written report and oral presentation on a specific function in their area of assignment. The projects are expected to reflect research, data analysis, and national best practices in support of recommendations for organizational improvement.  

The Coppin State University Interns are:

Albert D. Johnson, Jr. (’22) | B.S., Criminal Justice | Police Officer Applicant, BPD

Kayla T. Key (’22) | B.S., Criminal Justice  

De’Shawndra J. McDonald (’22) | B.S., Criminal Justice

Wesley Rice (’22) | B.S., Criminal Justice

Jasmine S. Slide (’21) | B.S., Criminal Justice | Candidate, M.S., Crime Scene Investigation at Stevenson University

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Robyne McCullough
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