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Veterans sought to fill state, federal law enforcement positions in New York and California
By Steve Bittenbender
Editor, Government Security News
Veterans Day was celebrated last week, and in conjunction with the holiday, public agencies with ties to seaport security on both coasts announced plans to encourage former military members to join their organizations’ law enforcement operations.
On the east coast, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced last week that it wanted to extend a current policy that overrides the age limit for new police recruits. The authority protects the agency’s land, sea, air and rail facilities, including four airports, four bi-state bridges and two tunnels, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the PATH rail system, the regional ports in New York and New Jersey, and the 16-acre World Trade Center site.
Under the initiative, which began in 2013, veterans seeking to enroll in the authority’s police academy would be able to deduct up to six years of active military service from their age. That means a 41-year-old who served in the Armed Forces would be eligible to join the authority’s 1,800-member police department. The age limit for those without military service is 35; however, that age limit does not apply to applicants for police captains or higher ranks.
The indefinite extension awaits board approval.
“Veterans who have dedicated themselves to our country’s freedom and security are great candidates to help keep our customers and facilities safe through careers as police officers,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “Continuing this policy will help us attract qualified police officer candidates from those who have admirably served our country."
Meanwhile, on the west coast, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the beginning of a six-week effort to recruit veterans for officer positions at both Los Angeles International Airport and the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex.
The starting pay for the positions ranges between $36,076 to $54,664. Unlike the New York initiative, CBP has no age limit for its positions.
The CBP initiative comes right as the federal agency was named by Monster.com as the 2nd Place winning of its “2016 Best Companies for Veterans” list. Roughly 17,000 veterans, or nearly 29 percent, of Customs’ workforce comes from the veteran population. About 6 percent of those veterans have some level of disability.
CBP has placed an emphasis on hiring more veterans in recent years, as more than a third of the officers hired in fiscal year 2016 served in the military. Veterans also are more likely to stay on the job. Of the nearly 700 veterans hired in fiscal year 2015, nearly 85 percent continue to work for the agency.
“This is great opportunity for veterans to join the CBP workforce and continue to serve their country within the Los Angeles area,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP offers a rewarding career with advancement opportunities and a great benefits package.”
The opportunity to apply for one of the CBP California positions ends on Dec. 19. For more information, visit CBP’s veterans’ page or its veterans’ recruitment appointment announcement page.