By Ellie Ritter, contributor
In an effort to expand employment for military veterans, the city of Atlanta will offer a $5,000 bonus to veterans and reservists who complete training to become police officers and firefighters.
According to the Police Department, the bonus, which is for both honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces and service members currently in a reserve capacity, will “provide an additional hiring incentive as the Atlanta Police Department continues to actively recruit new officers.”
Mayor Kasim Reed set aside a fund to pay for the bonuses in the upcoming year’s budget, which took effect on July 1, the press release from the Police Department said. To qualify, recruits must complete police or firefighter training.
“We’re grateful to Mayor Reed for recognizing the value that our veterans can bring to protecting the public,” Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said. “Qualified military veterans already have the discipline, courage and dedication to service required of first responders. We look forward to hiring qualified candidates attracted by this additional incentive.”
The bonus isn’t the first incentive being offered to police. Through the Atlanta Police Foundation, police officers and recruits can also receive a one-time relocation bonus of $1,000, housing assistance and tuition reimbursement to further their studies.
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Chief Joel Baker also praised the bonuses as a way to bring in qualified applicants.
“We welcome any qualified veterans to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department,” Baker said. “The qualities and values they have attained through the U.S. armed forces are the attributes we seek in candidates that want to serve our great city.”
The Atlanta Police Department will hold job fairs throughout the rest of July at Public Safety Headquarters at 226 Peachtree Street SW. The next two fairs will take place Saturday, July 22 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, July 25 at 7 p.m. Visit the APD website to learn more.