HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Capitol Police Department has announced the launch of a new internship program that provides certification and training.

“The national shortage of police officers has reached near-crisis levels for many departments, creating an overwhelming demand for a pipeline that has very limited supply right now,” Pennsylvania Capitol Police Superintendent Joe Jacob said. “The Pennsylvania Capitol Police have not been immune to the effects of this shortage. Approximately 50​% of our current workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next four years. The time is now for us to develop new ways to attract and retain candidates.”

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The Capitol Police Intern Program is designed to enable successful candidates to attend the full-time Act 120 certification academy for six months, complete officer field training, and then be able to become full-time Pennsylvania Capitol Police Officers.

The program will cover the cost of Act 120 certification, equipment, and other associated costs as part of the hiring process for an officer.

“Our hope is that by covering these costs, we can attract quality candidates who may have been interested in a career in law enforcement but may not have been able to cover the costs associated with following through on that desire,” Jacob said.

Candidates will need to be 21 years of age upon the completion of the Act 120 certification, hold a valid driver’s license, be a US citizen and be able to pass the physical examination and performance requirements.

For more information about the Capitol Police, or to apply to the intern program, click here.