by Bradley Hood
On September 1st Gary Peterson wrote an article for the Contra Costa Times on the natural fit many veterans find police work to be after their service. His article addressed a trend which is far from new – Police Departments have been hiring veterans for a long time.
During my time in the reserves I watched a number of Marines enter the police force, two of whom were excellent NCOs with multiple deployments, and made outstanding police officers. I am sure that many service members who make this transition from the active duty side may find this line of work similarly fulfilling. The fit seems natural: Becoming a Police Officer allows a former service member to continue to give public service, and to continue to utilize many aspects of their military training and experience. Among the veterans featured in Peterson’s article was Yeffiry Disla, whose statement, “…Anything you want to see in a soldier, you want to see in a policeman,” echoes that of San Francisco Police Officer Gregory Pak, who manned a recruiting table at a Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair: “The veterans we’re trying to reach out to, they have the set of skills, the discipline and the training where they would easily transition from military to civilian law enforcement.”
Peterson was careful to ensure that he made mention of the fact that police work is not a catch all solution for all veterans looking for work. I agree with that – despite an environment similarly structured to the military and a job which has use for many of the skills developed in the military, not every service member wants to be a police officer, or should be. It is not all that different in the military itself. Some people join for their four years with the intention of doing their service and leaving, others make a career out of the military. There is no right or wrong way to serve, and many 4 year veterans later go on to have fulfilling careers in the private sector.
The process to become a police officer varies by state, but in most cases is a long process, and one very affected by government funding. The good news is that, at least in NJ, the trend of police officers being laid off has been reversed, and hiring has begun again. For those of you looking for a public sector career with an easier transition from the military, police work may be the answer.
About the Author
Bradley Hood is a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant in IRR status with 5 years of prior enlisted experience. He is a recent graduate of American Military University, and currently is working towards a master’s degree in military history through Norwich. Bradley lives with his beautiful wife in historic NJ.
This article was reposted with permission from Military1.com, a free online resource for military personnel and their families, owned and operated by the Praetorian Group.