LANSING (AP) – Veterans returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan would be good candidates to serve and protect the state, according to the director of the Michigan State Police.

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said she is looking at veterans to be among the 400 troopers she aims to recruit and train, as her department prepares to significantly expand for the first time in decades and state officials focus on lowering a high jobless rate among the vets.

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

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal released this month includes increasing general fund support for the state police from about $269 million to $312 million. He also wants to lower unemployment among the state’s Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The rate stood at 29.4 percent in 2010.

Etue said it’s a “good feeling” to have the support of the governor, who sees the link between public safety and economic development. She said she is hosting orientation sessions in the hope that Snyder will announce a trooper recruit school.

The number of troopers is as low as it’s been since the 1960s, and Etue said she expects about 300 to retire within the next three years. She said soldiers and sailors typically possess the right skills and traits to be troopers.

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

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments (2)
  1. Alexander says:

    Where do I apply!!!!!! :)

  2. Noelle Navas says:

    It’s great to see public sector leaders who are committing time and resources to help returning veterans. There are a lot of parallels between work in law enforcement and the military so it is an obvious fit. I have also witnessed leaders in the private sector committed to helping unemployed veterans as well. If you are a veteran and interested in working in the private sector, I recommend contacting organizations like American Corporate Partners (ACP) where a corporate employee from one of the companies that sponsors ACP mentors a returning war veteran. The mentor provides one on one career advice and guidance to that veteran. I also recommend contacting military recruiting organizations such as Orion International that are hired by corporations to specifically recruit veterans. Orion has a lot of good resources for resume writing, job searching and interviewing. Their recruiters also know how to translate skills inherent to veterans into corporate lingo and what corporate jobs are fits for veterans. As a Marine and OIF veteran myself, I know firsthand how hard the transition can be. My employer, Siemens, is a sponsor of ACP and works with Orion so I recommend aligning yourself with companies that are committed to hiring veterans—also known as “veteran friendly.” You can find companies that are veteran friendly on the Joining Forces website.

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