The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) Office of Traffic Injury Control Programs, Enforcement and Justice Services Division offers one-year fellowship positions to highly motivated law enforcement professionals desiring to participate in a mentored program involving national highway safety projects and initiatives.

The program requires a law enforcement officer to accept up to a one-year temporary duty assignment in Washington, DC. The officer will work closely with staff and allied organizations in developing state-of-the-art materials involving technology in highway safety as well as challenging projects to improve traffic enforcement strategies and training programs.

These fellowship opportunities seek to incorporate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of working law enforcement professionals in the development of national highway safety programs. The active participation of contemporary law enforcement officers enhance the ability of NHTSA to fulfill its mission of saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing the economic impact of road traffic crashes.

In return, these professionals go back to their agencies with a better understanding of Federal processes; including grant and contract procedures and answering requests for proposals. They also gain familiarity with the long-term highway safety and law enforcement programs of NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration, and typically serve as a subject matter experts in traffic safety within their agency upon their return.

Each officer accepted into the program is mentored by members of the NHTSA Enforcement and Justice Services Division. These staff members have extensive backgrounds in law enforcement, research, media and marketing, management, and other related fields. Each officer will be afforded the opportunity to attend and participate in conferences and meetings that shape national law enforcement and highway safety policies.

The officer is assigned a primary work assignment and additional projects as required. Assignments are based on current needs and demands of the national highway safety and law enforcement communities. Primary work assignments are challenging and vary widely in nature and are congruent with their agency’s priorities. Once assigned a project, the officer will provide a service or develop a product or training program. Some examples of completed projects include: traffic enforcement and its impact on crime; mobilizing law enforcement agencies to enforce traffic laws; cooperative traffic enforcement efforts; and ways law enforcement can use the media to publicize the activities of your agency.

The Highway Safety Fellowship Program is open to any active, full-time sworn law enforcement officer, who has a strong interest in traffic safety. The applicant should have five or more years of law enforcement experience, have attained the rank of sergeant or lieutenant, and have supervisory experience in traffic safety. Applicants should be self-starters, upwardly mobile, have excellent writing and presentation skills for effective communication with law enforcement and highway safety administrators at national meetings, be well versed in standard word processing and spreadsheet computer programs, and possess other unique law enforcement skills that may be appropriate to the specific assignment.
Administrative Issues
Applicants should discuss this program with their administrators to determine their agency’s willingness to enter into a cooperative agreement with NHTSA. The agency must be prepared to pay the applicant’s salary and fringe benefits during the program. NHTSA typically reimburses the participating agency for the cost of the officer’s move to and from Washington, DC, and for living expenses; based on the eligible costs allowed by the officer’s agency. NHTSA will reimburse the officer’s travel costs in support of the project, based on Federal travel regulations. NHTSA will keep the burden of cost to the applicant’s agency to a minimum. Officers arriving from outside the Washington metropolitan area will receive some logistical help in securing living accommodations.
By participating in the program the officer will:
  • Develop a broader knowledge of law enforcement and highway safety issues, policy making, and State and national law enforcement organizations.

  • Establish relationships and work with law enforcement and highway safety leaders at the national, State and local level.

  • Develop a strong support network and gain national exposure for the incumbent and his or her law enforcement agency.

  • Acquire knowledge of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which is the Congressional Authorization under which NHTSA operates. This includes knowledge of the Section 402 highway safety grant programs as well as vehicle, engineering and driver behavior issues.

Officers who have worked in this program contend that this opportunity is a career highlight and a strong and positive learning experience. The fellowship experience will assist the officers’ home agencies to apply for Federal grants and contracts, respond to requests for proposals more effectively, and be more competitive in securing and conducting law enforcement traffic safety programs.

Officers, their agencies and NHTSA benefit from this traffic law enforcement fellowship program.


Application and Selection
There is no formal application process or submission deadline. Letters of interest from applicants accompanied by a letter of commitment to the program from the officer’s administrator are accepted throughout the year and should be sent to the NHTSA Enforcement and Justice Services Division at the address below. The selection process is based on varying specific issues and project needs.

Division Chief, Enforcement and Justice Services Division
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 5130 (NTI-122)
Washington, DC 20590