To bring about meaningful change, the Baltimore Police Department has developed an internship program to get local HBCU-goers into law enforcement.
This 10-week program’s inaugural cohort will be made up of eight students and recent-graduates from Morgan State University (MSU) and Coppin State University.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) June 21, 2022
The hope is that these HBCU students will join the police force and help improve the Baltimore Police Department’s relationship with the community it serves.
“If you look at what’s happening to policing all across the country, we’re trying to bring a new group of people into policing. Policing is important to Baltimore, policing is important to the country,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, said, according to WBAL.
Wexler ultimately teamed up with Baltimore City Commissioner Michael Harrison to jump-start the program.
“Police departments across the country are facing recruitment issues, retention issues. So, we’re trying to open the eyes of these bright prospective candidates,” Wexler added.
Yasmine Bryant, an MSU student who’s participating in the program, spoke about why she wants to get involved in law enforcement.
“I want to see interactions get better. I want to see better trust because the reality is that our society as a whole, we need order, and we need someone to call when things go awry. I truly believe in what Baltimore could be,” she said.
Bryant added that she enjoys “[b]eing able to meet with some of the top leaders in the criminal justice system and the police department and really gauge their experiences and have really exceptionally intellectual conversations.”
“Honestly, they’re just so fun that, even though we’re working, we’re having such a good time,” she continued.
While this is the program’s first year, Wexler has high hopes for its expansion.
“I’d like to go from, say, 8 students to a sizable number across the country where we encourage bright students who are thinking about what they want to do to make a difference. Involve police departments all across the country. Open the doors of policing to aspiring students and make this a national effort,” he said.
What are your thoughts on this initiative?