Atlanta Fire And Police Offer $5K Recruiting Bonus For Veterans | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta Fire And Police Offer $5K Recruiting Bonus For Veterans

Jul 18, 2017

Atlanta's police and fire departments are offering a $5,000 bonus for military veterans who complete officer training.

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The incentive comes as the APD is looking to fill roughly 225 vacant officer positions.  

Deputy Chief Stacie Gibbs said the bonuses are part of a city-wide emphasis on hiring veterans, but she said the recruiting help is welcome.

"We didn't used to have to go to a job fair and set up a table next to Cobb County,” Gibbs said. “We weren't competing against other local departments."

Gibbs said APD recruiters are also up against new cities that have cropped up in the metro area in recent years. She said another problem is public perception of the job.

"People are just nervous about policing,” she said. “We have to really go out and sell the profession.”

Nationally, census data shows about one in five police officers are veterans. About 6 percent of the country's population has served in the military.

She said veterans are attractive candidates because of their prior training and comfort with structure and that public service roles often appeal to them.