Public Affairs Intern

Internship Position Description

Position Title:

Public Affairs Intern - Orange County Sheriff's Department   (unpaid internship)

Background investigations for this position can take two - four months to process, and candidates must apply four months prior to their anticipated start date.

Name and Location of Agency/Department Requesting Intern:

Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Public Affairs Division
Santa, Ana 92703

Functions of Agency/Department:

The Office of Public Affairs is responsible for engaging stakeholders and providing honest and transparent communication. Its goal is to build and maintain a strong reputation for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department by developing mutually beneficial partnerships and serving as the primary liaison between the community, the media and elected officials.

The Public Affairs Division is made up of several collaborative programs including Community Relations, Government Relations, Media Relations and Public Relations. 

Intern Duties/Responsibilities:

The Public Affairs Division coordinates ongoing activities that include community/special events and outreach that advances the strategic initiatives and goals of the department.  Interns will be involved in various community, government, public and media relations projects.

 Responsibilities may include:

  • Drafting public relations materials such as news releases, media alerts, fact sheets, FAQs, briefings, talking points, scripts and other materials as assigned
  • Writing Facebook posts, tweets, blog articles and items for the employee Intranet
  • Reviewing and maintaining news clips and articles
  • Coordinating and organizing photos for collateral projects
  • Assisting with event coordination and general administrative duties such as answering phones and maintaining files

On some occasions, interns may be required to provide their own transportation to community events, meetings, etc. located throughout Orange County. Interns who operate a vehicle as part of their duties must possess a valid driver's license and proof of auto insurance coverage for personal injuries and property damage.

Educational Requirements:

This internship is best suited for students or recent graduates with a degree or interest/experience in one or more of the following disciplines:  journalism, public affairs, communications, public administration, public relations, community relations, political science, social ecology or a similar field.

Skills, Training or Qualifications:

Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to research information and prepare collateral and other correspondence; experience with social media platforms; and experience with Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word and Excel. The office is seeking outgoing, dependable individuals with positive attitudes who can work independently in a fast-paced environment. Professional appearance and business attire are required.

Time Commitment:

Minimum 10 - 20 hours per week for 3 - 6 months. Hours can be scheduled in 3- to 8-hour blocks of time during regular business hours (Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Some weekend/evening hours are required to attend special events. Applicants able to schedule the maximum hours/duration listed for this internship typically gain a more in-depth experience. 

Benefits Available to Intern:

Although this is an unpaid internship that does not lead to paid employment or include employee benefits, students or recent graduates are offered an excellent opportunity to:

  • Build resumes and explore career options
  • Apply academic skills and knowledge to the workplace
  • Fulfill college/university internship requirements
  • Network in their fields of interest with professionals who are dedicated to making a positive difference in Orange County
  • Intern with one of the premier employers in the region

Required Background Investigation:

Background investigations that can take two – three months to process will be conducted on applicants who have successfully interviewed for the internship and wish to pursue placement.

The background investigation includes a 20 - 30-minute pre-screen interview. The pre-screen interview for out-of-state applicants can be conducted by phone. An additional three-hour in-person interview and Livescan fingerprinting are also required. 
Location for pre-screen and in-person background interviews:
Orange County Sheriff's Department Background Unit 
320 N Flower Street, Santa Ana CA, 92702

The following documents will be completed by qualified applicants during the background investigation:

  • Civilian Personal History form, includes employment history & arrest record
  • Notarized Authorization to Release Information form

As part of the background investigation, applicants will be required to provide five references along with original copies of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate (original or certified copy) or if applicable, naturalization certificate/resident card (Passport is not accepted.)
  • Valid, state-issued driver’s license or ID
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of current automobile liability insurance coverage, listing applicant as an insured driver
  • Official college transcript(s) (Required for applicants who have completed their degree(s) and must be submitted in a sealed/unopened envelope.)

How to Apply: