Student Internships with COPS

Student Internships with COPS

Phoenix Police is proud to offer an internship program to students wishing to gain experience that will prove invaluable in their path to pursue a career in government or law enforcement.  The primary role of a student intern is a support function.

Volunteer Background Application - Become an intern today!


As an intern with the Phoenix Police Department, you must meet certain qualifications in addition to those detailed in the COPS application.

  • You should be a first or second semester Junior or Senior;
  • You must meet your College/University requirements for a credited internship with the Phoenix Police Department;
  • You must have no felony convictions and have a history of good personal conduct;
  • You must meet Phoenix Police Department controlled substance standards;
  • You must have fewer than eight (8) driving violation points, fewer than two (2) chargeable accidents, no DUI convictions and no loss of license as a result of a moving violation within the previous thirty-six (36) months.


Student Intern applications are processed according to the following policy, outlined to include recruitment, placement and supervision as it pertains to the Community Relations Bureau (CRB).

1.        CRB will oversee the Internship Program.  Applicants will be considered for the 16 week Fall and Spring sessions and the 10 week Summer session. Internship hours are between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

2.       Applications shall be accepted from in-state and out-of-state College and University students.

3.       To apply, Students must submit the completed COPS Application in addition to a letter of introduction with approval from the College or University attended by the Student.  The letter must include the following:

    1. Major Course of Study
    2. Student Class/Semester
    3. Anticipated Graduation Date (MM/YYYY)

4.       Once required documents are received, an ESB Background Investigator will be assigned to the applicant.   The following will be scheduled and conducted in this order:

    1. Prescreening interview:
      1. In-person for in-state applicants
      2. Telephone for out-of-state applicants
      3. Applicants maybe be required ​to travel as many as two times for interviews and polygraph prior to being accepted. 
    2. Completion of background questionnaire by the applicant ESB interviewer, to review for completeness and accuracy.
    3. Fingerprinting;
    4. Customary records check and background;
    5. Polygraph examination;
    6. Controlled Substance screening.
    7. File approval by Recruiting Unit Sergeant;
    8. Placement of file if applicant is Approved.
      1. Notify applicant of approved/denied status.

5.       Once the applicant has been approved for the Student Internship Program, the COPS Coordinator will commence the internship schedule with the Student.  Each intern will be required to complete a rotation of assignments to gain exposure to the department.  After the initial rotation of assignments is completed, the intern shall then be assigned to a specific bureau or precinct for the remainder of their internship.

While final assignment to a specific bureau may be based on the intern's area of interest/educational pursuit, a combination of factors such as attendance, supervisor feedback gained during the assignment rotations and department needs are considered.

  1. The bureau or precinct supervising the intern is responsible for the intern's duties and assignments.
  2. Interns may operate police vehicles.  A driving record assessment should be submitted by any supervisor requesting driving duties.
  3. The intern's supervisor may be requested to complete school correspondence pertaining to the intern's performance.  Final evaluations will be requested from each supervisor by the COPS Coordinator.
  4. Discipline, misconduct and/or insubordination incidences must be addressed first by the intern supervisor.  The COPS Coordinator and ESB should be notified of any incident that may lead to the intern's termination.
  5. At the completion of each rotation or assignment, the supervisor shall sign and date the intern's paperwork.  The intern is responsible to gather and submit their completed paperwork to the COPS Coordinator.
  6. The COPS Coordinator will forward the notice of internship completion to ESB.
  7. ESB will notify the student's College or University of the completed internship. 

6.       CRB will maintain a record of the student's internship with the department.​


Am I able to e-mail or fax the completed application?

No; as detailed in the application instructions the original application must be mailed or delivered in person to Employment Services.  This is to maintain security and integrity of the original application.

How long should I expect for my application for internship to be approved?

The department must schedule and conduct the application review, background investigation, in-person or telephone interview and polygraph.  Ensuring that your submitted application is accurate in terms of completing all sections and providing accurate contact information for references and job history is critical to avoid delays in processing.  Please allow up to four months for the application process to be completed from the time it has been submitted.

How many hours will I be asked to intern?

As you enter the internship program, no less than twenty (20) hours per week shall be observed; it is possible that the final bureau assignment may negotiate a greater number of hours per week.  Curriculum requirements from the college/university you attend are also taken into consideration.

Do you offer paid internships?

We do not.

May I continue as a COPS Volunteer once the internship is completed?

Yes; students are able to request a volunteer assignment with the COPS program after the internship is complete.  Currently, the hours required to volunteer are twelve (12) per quarter or four (4) per month.

Volunteer Background Application - Become an intern today!