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Military veterans to get priority for police jobs under COPS grants

Federal grant program to put more cops on the street emphasizes jobs for military veterans who served after 9/11. Unemployment among recent veterans stood at 12.7 percent in May. 

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Recent military veterans will have top priority for jobs under a federal program to put more police officers on patrol on America's streets.

Under the Justice Department's COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) program, 629 of the 800 police jobs funded for the next three years – all the newly hired officers – must go to veterans who served at least 180 days' active duty since 9/11. This is the first time the 18-year-old COPS program has required cities and counties seeking grants to hire veterans exclusively.

Recent vets face high unemployment rates, and Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that this initiative is part of the Obama administration's effort to try to help them transition to civilian life. 

"We don’t think if they fought like hell over there they should have to fight as hard [to find a job] when they get back home,” Mr. Biden said on a press conference call, shortly before Attorney General Eric Holder announced the new COPS requirement in Philadelphia.

In his State of the Union message in January, President Obama declared that employment for military veterans would be a priority for his administration. But joblessness remains a stubborn problem.   


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