Media Release: Police Executive Research Forum Announces Summer Internship Program with the Baltimore Police Department and Historically Black Colleges and Universities 

Baltimore, Md. (June 21, 2022) – Today, Executive Director Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), President David Wilson of Morgan State University, and President Anthony L. Jenkins, PhD, of Coppin State University announced a new partnership between PERF, BPD, and Baltimore’s two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Morgan State University and Coppin State University. 

Under the 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.” 

The HBCU Summer Internship Program is an historic partnership. This innovative pilot initiative challenges current college students and recent graduates to learn the inner workings of the BPD and the importance of good policing in our communities. 

“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.” 

According to President Wilson of Morgan State University, “Paid internships are always attractive to students who want to get some work experience under their belt while understanding the culture of an organization. This pilot program is a terrific way to expose students on HBCU campuses to the multiple career opportunities within BPD and police departments across the United States. When many people think of police work, they often only think of patrolling. But there are so many opportunities in data analytics, finance, accounting, forensics, public administration, and journalism. I applaud the investment PERF is making and thank Commissioner Harrison for his advocacy of Baltimore’s HBCUs. Morgan State is thrilled to be a part of the pilot program, and I am confident we will see more graduates of HBCUs working in the policing profession because of it.” 

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 closely monitor and evaluate the program for possible expansion to other jurisdictions in the United States where Historically Black Colleges and Universities are located. 

“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 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. 

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.  


  • Explore the historical and current relationship between Baltimore police officers and community members.
  • Study the complex operational and managerial components of a law enforcement agency.
  • Integrate criminal justice theory and practice.
  • Complete a data-driven capstone project with the goal of improving a specific functional area in the BPD.
  • Receive compensation to support college expenses or pursue a career in law enforcement.
  • Work with a BPD mentor to support the internship experience and provide insight into a law enforcement career.
  • Explore potential career paths in law enforcement.
Yasmine J. Bryant
Candidate, Spring 2024
Morgan State University
B.A., Political Science
Albert D. Johnson, Jr.
2022, Graduate
Coppin State University
B.S., Criminal Justice
Police Officer Applicant, BPD
Kayla T. Key
Candidate, Fall 2022
Coppin State University
B.S., Criminal Justice

Cheikh S. McKissic
2022 Graduate
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
B.S. Music, Entrepreneurial, Technology
Matriculated Morgan State University, 2014 – 2017
Fortune O. Olayinka
Candidate, Spring 2024
Morgan State University
B.S., Information Systems
Wesley Rice
2022 Graduate
Coppin State University
B.S., Criminal Justice
De’Shawndra J. McDonald
2022 Graduate, Cum Laude
Coppin State University
B.S., Criminal Justice; Minor: Psychology
Jasmine S. Slide
2021, Graduate
Coppin State University
B.S., Criminal Justice; Minor: Psychology
Candidate, M.S., Crime Scene Investigation at Stevenson University