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Interns and Externs (e.g. Ride-Alongs)

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Opportunities for External Learning


The Sheriff's Office provides for a limited number of opportunities for outside citizens to experience and learn about activities within our organization.  Please carefully read about each of the following categories to determine if any of these opportunities are right for you.




The Sheriff's Office provides a limited number of internships that are available for individuals wishing to gain education and experience in varying aspects of law enforcement.  An intern is an advanced student or graduate usually in a professional field (such as law enforcement, corrections, communications, emergency management, etc.) wishing to gain supervised practical experience.  Interns are not observers, job shadows, or "ride-alongs."  Interns are expected to be a working student who will actively participate in the real-world mission of the Sheriff's Office as an uncompensated volunteer employee.

Interns typically come from educational organizations (such as a university or technical college), and usually participate in the internship in return for educational credit from their parent institution.  Internships are generally not available to the general public.

The length of the internship varies, but typically runs for several months.  Interns are restricted to US citizens, 18 years of age or older, who can pass a detailed criminal history background check. 

If you are a student at an institution of higher learning and interested in an internship at the Sheriff's Office, contact your career counselor or academic advisor for more information.

Externships (e.g. Ride-along, Job Shadow)

The Sheriff's Office provides a very limited number of externships that are available for individuals wishing to gain exposure to law enforcement. An extern is an individual who wishes to informally observe the inner workings of the Sheriff's Office through casual observation.   Externs are also know as, and typically take the form of, "ride-alongs," observers, or job-shadows. Externs are restricted to the opportunities that they have for participation, and merely watch an experienced employee conduct their routine business. 

Externships are not offered to the general public, and are only accessible to individuals who have completed an accredited and approved external program (e.g. Portage County Emergency Services Citizen's Academy, Leadership Portage County) or have personally secured an approved sponsorship from an employee at the Sheriff's Office.  Elected officials of Portage County (and other municipalities on a limited basis) are also eligible for externships.

The length of the externship varies, but typically runs for 4 to 8 hours. Externs are restricted to US citizens, 18 years of age or older, who can pass a criminal history background check.

If you are a graduate of an approved program, have been offered the invitation for an externship, and are interested in the opportunity, contact your Sheriff's Office advisor in your program for more information. Eligible elected officials should contact the Sheriff for more information.


Contact Us

You can obtain more information by emailing us at, or calling (715) 346-1400.