Veterans Use Law Enforcement Jobs To Transition Into Civilian Life

Feb 9, 2015

Miami Vet Center and Florida International University hosted their third annual veterans job fair on Friday at the university’s football stadium. 

Miami Dade Police Department received 50 applications from veterans in little over an hour at FIU's job fair.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

About 60 employers came out to the fair, bringing hundreds of jobs with them. Among the hiring companies were Starbucks, Lowes Home Improvement and Publix Supermarket.

Shane Suzuki, with Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, says between 200 and 300 veterans attended the job fair.  He says vets need career fairs like this because they’ve been outside of the job market for years. 

"Sometimes making that transition from military back to civilian life can be difficult," he said. "There are some jobs in the military that just don't translate well to the civilian sector." 

The job fair helps applicants like Randy Boue, an ex-marine who's studying criminal justice at FIU. Boue served for six years and has been out for four getting his degree. He wants a job in law enforcement.

"Just to give back to the community," Boue said. "The same reason I joined the military was to do something, make a difference-- positive difference in my life and others’ lives, and the same thing I can do here in the civilian world."

He says the jobs are similar. Boue’s already patrolled and done security work for the Marine Corps.

"A lot of them are law enforcement in the military, so that's why they're very interested in police work," said Jessica Hernandez of Miami Dade Police Department. She was at the fair gathering applications and collected 50 in little over an hour.

"We do give them veteran preference," said Hernandez. "The experience that they have you can't compare it to anything else."