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New Law Makes it Easier for Veterans to Become Police Officers in Minnesota

May 16, 2014

New Law Makes it Easier for Veterans to Become Police Officers in Minnesota
Governor Dayton signs bill to align peace officer reciprocity requirements with military service

ST. PAUL, MN – It just got easier for military veterans to become police officers in Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton today signed a bill eliminating unnecessary barriers in state law that prevented some military police officers from transitioning into service on civilian police forces.

While the typical length of service for a military service member is four years, state law previously required individuals to have five years of active duty experience in military law enforcement before qualifying to take a police officer reciprocity exam. Veterans who held a two-year college degree needed a minimum of three years of military police experience before they could take the exam.

The bill (Chapter 268, HF1915) signed today by Governor Dayton changes these experience requirements to four, and two years respectively, making them more consistent with typical military commitments. The new law builds on reforms enacted last session that allowed military police officers to take their reciprocity exams while still on active duty, helping them transition more quickly into civilian employment.

“The common sense reforms we have made over these last two years will help Minnesotans who have served their country honorably in the military, to continue that service here at home in our communities,” said Governor Dayton. “I thank these veterans for their remarkable commitment to service, and pledge my continued support to help all Minnesota veterans find employment.”

Job Resources for Minnesota Veterans
The bill signed into law by Governor Dayton today is part of a broader effort by the Dayton Administration to help Minnesota veterans find meaningful, good-paying work. Through recruitment and retention efforts, relationships with veterans’ organizations and advocates, support for deployed soldiers and their families, and reintegration training, Minnesota is working to get veterans back to work. Minnesota veterans and military service members who are currently searching for a job can benefit from the following initiatives and resources: – The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) provides specialized staff and employment services to help all military veterans prepare for, find, and keep a job – no matter their era of service. This one-stop website provides information and resources for all Minnesota veterans who are seeking employment, including tips on how to find a job, a list of career events for veterans, employment services, and more. Additionally, if you are an employer seeking to hire a veteran, visit this website designed for Minnesota employers.

Minnesota Workforce Centers – Veterans seeking employment are encouraged to visit their local Workforce Center. Each center has a local veterans’ employee representative who can provide on-on-one assistance in job searches, provide guidance on resume and cover letter writing, conduct mock interviews, and provide referrals to support services. Each year, Minnesota Workforce Centers serve approximately 20,000 Minnesota veterans. A map of Minnesota Workforce Centers is available here. Veterans can also find their local Workforce Center by calling (866) 213-1422.

Gold Card – Veterans also have the ability to utilize a Gold Card, which provides unemployed post-9/11 era veterans with the intensive and follow-up services they need to succeed in today's job market. The Gold Card initiative is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).

MyMilitary GPS Lifeplan – MyMilitary GPS LifePlan helps veterans, service members and their families set goals and design plans that will lead them to the success they desire in career and life. This website, which walks veterans step-by-step through the goal-setting process, is a partnership between the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, the Minnesota Army National Guard and the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Programs,

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) – The MDVA has a website dedicated to helping Minnesota veterans connect to employment resources. The website also has links and helpful information for employers that want to hire veterans, as well as information about on-the-job training and apprenticeships, state veterans preference laws, and tips for veterans who own businesses.

Yellow Ribbon Company Program – Throughout Minnesota, companies and corporations are making a commitment to military service members and veterans. The Yellow Ribbon Company Program is one example of how Minnesota companies go above and beyond.  This program allows companies to make a formal and meaningful commitment to hiring veterans. More information about the Yellow Ribbon Company Program can be found here.