Gov. Beshear announces program to recruit military service members as police officers
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky is working to address the critical police shortage across the Commonwealth by recruiting retiring military service members. Governor Beshear announced the Military to Law Enforcement Program Thursday.
The program allows local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to hire active service members within all branches of the U.S. Military during their last 180 days of service.
After they are contracted by a law enforcement agency, the military member will continue to receive their pay and benefits from the U.S. Military while they go through law enforcement training at the Department of Criminal Justice.
“Across the nation, law enforcement agencies are struggling to hire and retain officers,” said Beshear. “I commend our state agencies for working together to create an attractive incentive for both our service members and police agencies focused on improving public safety throughout the commonwealth’s 120 diverse counties.”
As much as the program would benefit communities, it also helps the retiring servicemembers.
“While there are a lot of differences, there are a lot of similarities too,” said Jeremy Harrell, CEO of Veteran’s Club Inc. “You find yourself leaving the only thing you ever have known. It’s all you’ve ever done in your adult life, and not everything in the military translates into civilian sector.”
Veteran’s Club Inc. helps veterans and their families adjust to post-service life, and overcome any obstacles. He is also working on an initiative that would help servicemembers become school resource officers.
“I think this will solve a lot of those problems. It will allow police officers who are serving within the school system to get back on the streets with their department and do their actual job there. Then you have veterans who are trained in defense of places all over the world who can defend the kids in our schools.”
Harrell estimates there are about 50,000 active servicemembers from Kentucky, and another 300,000 who have retired.
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