The West Hartford Police Department proudly offers an internship
specifically designed to expose college students to life, “Behind the
Badge.” Hollywood and the media portray law enforcement careers as one
of high speed chases, crime scenes and investigations where criminals
are tried and convicted all before the commercial break. The objective
of this program is to address the misconceptions of police work and give
students a realistic snapshot of what a career in law enforcement
Course work includes:
Careers in Law Enforcement - Students will gain unparalleled exposure
to the actual application and hiring process. This includes taking the
West Hartford Police Department’s written test and the CHIP test
required by every police department in CT. Students will also practice
their interview skills in mock oral boards given by active law
Team Building - Students will be challenged with team building
exercises every morning. These challenges are designed to be
effectively solved through teamwork, adaptation and creativity.
Challenges and solutions are then reviewed in group discussion focusing
on how communication and teamwork directly relates to successful police
Physical Training (PT) - Students will participate in multiple
afternoon physical training sessions. They will self assess their
current abilities and set personal goals which coincide with the
standards for police officer qualification. Students will understand
the importance of physical fitness and how it plays a vital role to the
success of law enforcement officers throughout their careers.
Crime Scene Investigation - Students will gain an understanding to
the intricacies of crime scene investigation. Police detectives will
unfold crime scenes as they interactively guide students through
authentic cases. Students will recognize the difference between
tangible evidence and “Hollywood evidence.” Given demonstrations from
police detectives, students will apply these skills to collect latent
fingerprints off various surfaces.
Case Law - Students will participate in a constitutional law class
which includes group discussion of various case law and examples.
Students will apply their understanding of case law theory through
practical application in scenario training. Students will gain
awareness of how state and federal court rulings determine policies and
procedures in law enforcement.
Simulated Activity - Students will demonstrate their understanding of
practices and theories covered in classroom lectures and discussions in
scenario-based training. Scenarios are role played by
officers/instructors who provide an after action review for each group
of students. Reviews and reflections are done in these small groups
immediately following the scenario and at the end of the day as a whole
CT Police Academy - Students will visit the Connecticut Police
Academy in Meriden, CT, where they will become familiar with, “Academy
life.” Students receive a guided tour of the academy grounds by Police
Officer Standard and Training Council certified instructors who are
dedicated to the training of the next generation of law enforcement
The Behind the Badge program is unique as no other internship in CT
provides participants with this level of education integrated with
hands-on experience. This program is specifically designed to move
students forward in their pursuit of a career in law enforcement, as
well as, to give those students who are still considering such a career
more information. This course will help build individual character and
provide a strong base for any chosen career path.
When We Meet - The College Police Academy consists of multiple
classroom sessions, stations days (practical skills) and a "ride along"
with a West Hartford Police Officer. The classroom sessions will be held
at the West Hartford Police Department and possible trips to outside
facilities. The stations days will be determined at a later date and the
ride along requirement will need to be completed by the end of the
academy or soon thereafter. There is a physical fitness component to
this offering as well that will help prepare each student to
successfully pass a standardized fitness requirement.
planned to meet 8AM-4PM, Monday through Fridays.
Earn College Credits - This program may meet requirements towards your Criminal Justice Program internship.
Who May Attend the Academy - Any interested college students who have no prior felony convictions are encouraged to attend.
The West Hartford Police Department is now accepting applications for the 19th session of the College Academy.
Comments from past students:
“It was the most hands-on experience I could have ever gone through. Every day it was a new activity and it never got boring.” Sophia M.
“This course was put together extremely well. It was good to get the classroom sessions in first and then actually learn how to apply what we have learned to actual scenarios.” Cody H.
“The in-depth look into so many aspects of law enforcement, the details of the hiring process, the look into all this job entails- meaning potential harm and death which helps one really realize if they want to do this job and the extensive training and learning experiences.” Natalie Feliciano
“The Strengths of this course are the variety of fields they show you. I completed a full internship at another agency and learned a fraction of what I learned at Behind the Badge.” James W.
“All of the hands on activities help with the confidence building of people who maybe are not used to being in high intensity situations.” Anonymous
50 South Main Street West Hartford, CT 06107 Website: https://www.WestHartfordCT.gov P. 860-561-7500 | F. 860-561-7400 | H. M-F, 8:30A-4:30P Assessment, Registrars, Tax, and Town Clerk have alternate hours. Please visit each department's web page for specific hours.