"Let's get more cops on the beat, let's get more rangers in the parks, let's get more firefighters on call, and in the process, we're going to put more veterans back to work.” This was said by Present Obama at an Arlington, VA firehouse. This proposal is part of the President’s attempt to put soldiers back in the work force after serving our country. The President also said, "They've already risked their lives defending America. They should have the opportunity to rebuild America,"
Obama is particularly intending to aid the soldiers from 9/11 terrorist attacks. The President is mainly concerned with this population as they are experiencing the most dramatic employment rate lose. The soldiers that have served as a result of the the 9/11 terrorist attacks are experiencing an unemployment rate of “9.1 percent as veterans, versus 8.7% for non-veterans, according to the government's jobs report for January.”
Obama is confident that this program will be effective due to the success of the 1930’s Civilian Conservations Corps which succeeded in putting 300,000 men to work during poor economy. Other programs such as Helmets to Hardhats have been developed and have aided soldiers in gaining employement. Obama’s proposal seems as though it will act along the same capacity as the previous, however; will be more beneficial for soldiers as it will allow them professional employment rather than traditional labor field employment.
To allow soldiers the opportunity to gain employment within law enforcement and fire department agencies the President is proposing grant money. The president is going to offer extra grant preference points to agencies which hire soldiers. Obama is also attempting to increase the amount of grant money accessible to police and fire agencies which will allow them the opportunity to potentially employ more officers and firemen.. The President is proposing “an additional $4 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services program, or COPS” . He will propose an additional $1 billion for miscellaneous firefighter grants.
As a criminal justice student actively testing for police departments, this article makes me nervous. The criminal justice system is an extremely competitive field with sometimes 500 people testing for 2 or 3 available positions. With soliders already receiving as many as 5 preference points in the testing process, this proposal will make it near impossible for civilians for gain employment over any soldiers. If departments are given preference points for hiring soldiers and have something to gain by hiring an soliders, does this pose an unfair advantage for students who have gone to universities and obtaining degree in law enforcement. What can students do to be more competitive within the law enforcement and firefighting job market?
I believe this is an extremely important topic for society to think about and now future law enforcement personnel and firefighters. We certainly want to put soldiers back to work and allow them the opportunity to gain employment within a field they enjoy, however; we want them to be the best candidate for the job as well.