It seems that Obama may–I said may–have had what might–I repeat, might–be a good and workable idea.
In a separate statement, the White House announced 2012 grants of $166 million to hire veterans as police officers and $320 million to hire them as firefighters and emergency personnel.
Obama also will include in the 2013 budget a separate $4 billion in funding to promote police hiring, with communities that hire post-September 11 veterans getting preference for the funds. Another $1 billion would go to employ firefighters and emergency workers, the statement said.
This actually makes a good deal of sense, if you think about it. Veterans would logically have the physical and emotional training to handle high-stress jobs like police officer or firefighter, so they’d probably be a good fit for these positions.
The big question, however, is what happens once the grant money runs out? The fear is that if the grant money goes away, so do the positions, and that could put these vets out of work again. Of course, this is somewhat offset by the fact that by the time the grant runs out, the vets would have valuable experience as cops or firefighters, which might make it easier for them to find another position if they find themselves looking because the grant money isn’t there anymore.
Overall, count me as a cautious supporter of this idea.
(Cross-posted at PJ Tatler)