The Cobb County Police Department, always looking for a few good men and women, recently signed a partnership agreement with the U.S. Army to provide employment opportunities for soldiers.
It’s part of a program, called Partnership for Your Success, that guarantees soldiers in the Army and National Guard an interview and possible employment with employers that value the skills, discipline and work ethic that military service members possess.
The Army has partnered with more than 1,000 organizations, both in the public and private sectors, including law enforcement and first responders such as the Atlanta Police Department, many city governments around the country and national businesses like Dell, 7-Eleven, Century 21, Goodyear, John Deere and Amazon.
The program provides up to five interviews for a candidate with a partner organization, though employment is not promised and it’s up to the soldiers to be prepared for the interview.
Cobb police Chief Stuart VanHoozer said the partnership will help his department recruit qualified candidates at a time when applicant shortages are affecting departments nationwide.
VanHoozer said that while his department is doing better than most, they’ve seen a 400% decrease in applicants compared to 10 years ago while still only hiring 4% of candidates.
“You can do the math from there and understand that we are in some challenging times for law enforcement,” he said.
Even after hiring prospective officers, there is still a question as to whether they will be mentally, emotionally and physically capable of handling the demands of the academy and later in the field on their own, VanHoozer said. That’s not the case with veterans.
“There’s a maturity level that comes (with military service) that is very different from what we’ve seen from non-military folks,” he said.
The program began in 2000 as an enlistment incentive for regular Army soldiers, according to its website. Since then, it has expanded to include Army reserve soldiers, Army ROTC cadets and the National Guard.
With the military seeking out recruits with the same values and abilities as law enforcement, Gen. John Gentry with the Georgia National Guard said it makes sense to partner up to attract that same pool of candidates.
“It’s a win-win opportunity,” he said.
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