Rose Rozmiarek, Chief of Investigation | Sep 13, 2013
Starting in 2003 the Office of the State Fire Marshal starting partnering with Washburn University’s Criminal Justice Department in providing hands on experience and life training for college students. One of the ways college students can experience what their college education and career path can provide them is through internships at actual law enforcement agencies.
Most of the students from Washburn that intern with the OSFM are seniors who are about ready to go into the professional workforce. The majority of the interns have come from Washburn but we have also had a couple from Emporia State University and a graduate student from a university in New Jersey.
The OSFM has had a couple of dozen interns since the partnership was formed and a good many of them have gone on to law enforcement positions. A couple of interns are employed locally and a couple actually have gone on to the Federal level and work at the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is a good to know that the experience the interns receive has had some influence on their career path.
Some of the tasks the interns may be exposed to are actual fire and explosive scenes, interview processes, autopsies viewing, and case development. They may also attend courtroom trial processes and in-service training attended by members of the investigation division. We try to expose them to as many diverse tasks and assignments as possible.
The interns will also be exposed to the administrative side of the office with filing, computer work, and other tasks. They are treated as if they are an actual employee of the agency minus the pay and benefits of course. If the division has a project that needs extra attention then the intern is also tasked with working on those assignments. If there is no project we will ask if there is a project or research they would like to work on.
To participate in the intern program the applicant must first coordinate with their university and then contact our agency. Due to the sensitive nature of some of the information they will need to have a background check completed and be free of any felony or major misdemeanor crimes. It is up to the intern and their university on the number of hours and credits they complete. Most interns will complete six credit hours which is 240 contact hours during the semester.
Meet Jordan Mills, Investigation Intern
Jordan Mills, a senior Criminal Justice major at Washburn University, has begun his semester as the intern for the OSFM Investigation Division. Jason is a 2009 graduate of Washburn Rural High School in Topeka.
When he graduates in 2014, Jason definitely wants to pursue his career in law enforcement, though through the classes he has taken he enjoys the investigation field the most.
“I’ve always had an interest in law enforcement since I was a little kid,” Jason says. “After taking some criminal justice classes, I became more interested in the investigation side of law enforcement as a career.”
Through his internship with the OSFM, Jason is most looking forward to going out with investigators on fire scenes to watch the investigators at work.