Chesterfield County, Virginia, Police Department | www.chesterfield.gov/police.aspx?id=2502 |
Published in the November/December 2011 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Attention servicemembers and veterans: Elliott Anderson is targeting you. The police officer and recruiter for the Chesterfield County, Virginia, Police Department knows a good thing when he finds it. He’s constantly on the road, traveling to places such as Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, and other military installations looking for servicemembers to join his department. He’s been with the Chesterfield County Police Department for 13 years, and a recruiter for six of those years.
“Veterans are trustworthy, have integrity, high morals and ethics,” Anderson said. “They follow through on their commitments, are used to dealing with diverse groups of people, are physically fit, have patience with people, and know how to make a decision. They are a perfect fit when it comes to becoming a member of our department.”
The department is made up of about 513 police officers and 120 civilian staff, which includes HR personnel, crime analysts, forensic technicians, and more. The department’s greatest need is for police officers.
It might seem that recruiting for police officers would be a breeze, given the current economic climate, but Anderson said that’s not the case. “We’ve found a lot of people have tried to join where this isn’t their first choice,” he said. “These are people coming from other professions who are seeking something that’s more consistent and secure. However, they don’t always stick. The retention is much better for former military personnel. They are coming from an environment that is very similar, and can adjust quickly. As a paramilitary organization, we present a mission that they are familiar with and enjoy. They come to us with the mindset of ‘this is what I want to do.’”
The department also prefers to recruit veterans because they are generally proficient with firearms, know how to follow the rules, respect their uniform, follow policies and procedures, have a commanding presence, and can see the big picture when it comes to their jobs. “Veterans have already been through a lot,” Anderson said. “So they don’t panic when a stressful event comes, and they don’t get bored when there’s a lull. They have respect for what they do and who they are doing it for.”
The Chesterfield County Police Department offers a military peer support program that supports family members when an officer is deployed due to Guard or reserve duties. The department has been recognized with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award as one of the top organizations supporting its members serving in the Guard or reserve. The department also has an adult training specialist at the training academy who will convert a veteran’s training into college credit.