Academic Internship and Research Program

The Greenville Police Department has an active student internship and academic research program. Internships are held at the Greenville Police Department during the fall, spring and summer semesters.  Academic research programs are on-site or campus-based independent studies and research. Academic research can involve both students and faculty.

An internship engages students to bridge the gap between academic programs and practitioners. We believe in the substantial value of hands-on, experiential learning as a method of identifying, training, educating, and recruiting quality criminal justice personnel for the future.

The research program engages faculty and students who wish to conduct applied research in partnership with the Greenville Police Department. This program is conducted through independent credit studies for students or direct research with faculty, to include grant application partnerships.

RESEARCH PARTNERSHIPS

Each partnership is unique and details and plans need to be discussed on an individual basis. Contact Dr. Eleazer Hunt at lhunt@greenvillesc.gov to discuss research opportunities.

Internships

Prospective interns must be enrolled in college and sponsored by their school and will undergo background and drug screening as part of the application process. Interested students should plan to apply at least three months before the internship semester.

Contact Tiffany Burton at tburton@greenvillesc.gov for application forms and additional information.

Internship FAQs

What is the application process?

You must complete the following:

  • Intern Program Information Sheet
  • Letter from university or college department head/dean acknowledging that you are currently enrolled in school, are in good standing, and are participating in the internship program
  • Employee Acknowledgement of the Drug-Free Workplace Act
  • Employee Acknowledgement of the City Employee Handbook

What qualifications must I meet to apply?

Prospective interns must be considering a profession related to policing or crime and/or intelligence analysis. Prospective interns must be enrolled in a post-secondary educational program leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree or a technical certificate program in a field relevant to the police department’s functions. Students must retain their student status during the internship.

What attributes do I need to be successful in this role?

Good listener; diligence; patience; self-motivation; willingness to help out with different projects; strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills.

What are the core responsibilities of this role?

Assignments depend on school requirements. Most programs have a minimum number of hours (100-160) for the student to be in residence, along with the completion of a performance evaluation at the end of the internship. Preferably, a student internship lasts the entire semester.

What does a normal day look like?

  • Orientation throughout the department, and insight into police communications, investigations/detective division, victim advocacy, traffic unit, community response team, and training division
  • Riding along with officers throughout their daily shifts
  • Working alongside crime and intelligence analysts in strategic planning and analysis and assisting with data review and analysis or requests for assistance
  • Tours/orientation to corrections and court
  • Attendance at relevant training sessions and community meetings

What should I expect to get out of this experience?

A deeper understanding of the complexity and responsibilities of the policing profession and appreciation for the variety of community interests in Greenville.

Is there anything else I need to know before applying?

Police department internships are in high demand, and space is extremely limited. Only three internships are awarded each semester. Applications must be submitted 12 weeks in advance of the proposed start date.

What kind of feedback have you received from former interns?

The reality of police work really resonates with our interns and many have characterized their time as one of the greatest hands-on educational opportunities they have ever had.

Below are testimonials from some of our former interns:

My time with GPD as an intern was exactly what I needed to bridge that gap between the details of classroom learning, with the application of real-life experience. There is no better place to do that than at Greenville Police Department. Everyone was wonderful to work with, from the officers on the road, to the intelligence teams, to all the support staff. All aspects of policing were at their highest with the GPD, and I enjoyed every second of my valuable learning experience with them. 

-- Nathan (2019)

Throughout my internship with GPD Strategic Planning and Analysis Division, I learned firsthand how officers and civilian personnel at GPD are able to accomplish day-to-day operations. The department focuses on proactive policing at every level, while simultaneously working to identify the “people, places, and problems” that are threats to the community. During the internship, I had the opportunity to visit the different divisions throughout the agency and learn how each of their functions is vital to making the city of Greenville a safer place. I was also able to learn how raw information moves through the department and is eventually utilized as an intelligence product. Through ride-alongs, I learned how intelligence products drive policing and how officers utilize this information in everyday patrols. This internship gave me a new perspective and a better understanding of proactive policing and the intelligence used to back the department’s mission objectives. 

-- Connor (2019)

I found my internship with GPD to be the most important part of my education, and I truly believe I learned more in three months during my internship than I did in four years in the classroom. I highly suggest anyone considering an internship with the Greenville Police Department to go for it. 

-- Adam (2017)

When I’m asked for one word to describe the GPD internship program, I can only think of excellence, starting from Day 1. I got to ride with several GPD officers and see them in action. It was interesting to see how each one was doing the same job, but with their own personal style. I can honestly attest that I left GPD with a good idea of what each unit within the department does to work together, from administration, to patrol officers, to investigators. 

-- Deisy (2017)

My internship experience at Greenville Police Department was more than just eye-opening. I gained more knowledge than I could have ever gained in the classroom. I gained respect for the officers and the many people who are behind the protection of our community. The people I spoke to while I was there made me feel so welcome and answered any questions that I had. I left my experience with a whole new perspective and respect for the people who work so hard to protect us. I am very appreciative of the time I spent there and the great people who took the time to speak with me.

-- Maegan (2016)