U.S. Army partnering with Detroit Police Department, offering veterans job opportunities

The Detroit Police Department has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army to provide priority-hiring status to qualified soldiers after enlistment.

It's part of the Army's Pays Program, and it's a win-win for everyone.

"To have trained professionals who have gone through the rigor of military training to come in to the police department, it doesn't get much better than that," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

But DPD isn't the only one benefitting. Law enforcement offers a field veterans may already be prepared for when considering a profession.

"I try to remind folks even when the young people - the young soldiers are getting out the four-year mark, the six-year mark and first question you will always be able to ask is what do you plan to do," said Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings with the U.S. Army. "And of course I find out pretty much every one of them are looking for where their place back in the world is useful. All of them still want to somehow contribute." 

Military training is different than police training, so soldiers would still have to go through a training process. However, it's part of a transition they would be capable of handling quickly.


"One of the most difficult challenges for our new recruits going into policing is, Number one is the rigors - the physical fitness," Craig said. "The men and women come to us physically fit. The other part is certainly the academic portion. We go into a lot of law, constitutional law so they have to take those classes."

The Army has over 600 partnerships like this. The Pays Program guarantees soldiers five job interviews and possible employment in a wide sector of public and private companies. Craig speaks from experience during his time in the line of duty working alongside veterans who turned police officers.


"Many of my training officers, and that was post-Vietnam era, many of them were Vietnam veterans. Many served in the U.S. Army., so I learned a lot from these veterans on how to stay alive and I remember it vividly."