Michigan State Police Program Recruits Military Veterans

Monday, 20 Feb 2012 01:59 PM

By Greg McDonald

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The Michigan State Police is looking to recruit a few good veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as it moves to boost its trooper force by at least 400 this year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Col. Kristie Kibbey Etue, head of the state police, said she is making the recruitment of veterans a priority because it makes sense for the program and will help reduce the state unemployment rate for vets, which stood at more than 29 percent in 2010.

“The timing is good because we have about 3,000 men and women coming home" from Iraq and Afghanistan, Etue told the Free Press. “The military transitions very well into public safety.”

The trooper recruitment program is part of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s new emphasis on public safety. Etue said she wants to see how many of the new returning vets “we could maybe grab onto” to help fill out the ranks to meet the governor’s challenge. So the welcome mat is out, for those vets interested in pursueing a public safety career.

“If you ever go through a recruit school, you can always tell those that have been in the military,” Etue told the newspaper. “They know how to march, they know how to shine their shoes and they have that whole demeanor that’s already ingrained in them.”

Like Michigan, many states are struggling to figure out how to put returning vets who leave the service into new careers. Nationally, the unemployment for vets is about 9.1 percent, according to Labor Department figures.

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