The U.S. Army Recruiting Command signed an agreement Thursday that gives qualified soldiers priority hiring status with the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Lieutenant Colonel Brad Dostal is the commander of the Army Recruiting Battalion in Des Moines. He says when recruits sign their contract with the Army this will give them a chance to interview with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, and give them a chance to use their skills when they exit the service.
Dostal says its called the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program, and can help recruits set plans for the future. Dostal says the typical people they recruit are age 19 to 25, and he says many of them are not thinking ahead very far, but he says about 10 percent of those who come in are interested.
Dostal says they recruit about two-thousand people each year. He says this is one of several agreements they have with civilian businesses.Dostal says the Union Pacific Railroad and John Deere are a couple of other major partners for the program in Iowa.
D.P.S. director Gene Meyer says the agreement gives the state another pool of talent. Meyer says they do a great deal of recruiting to find the best men and women, and says this agreement gives them access to people trained in the military that share the same core values as the men and women they’re looking for to become peace officers. Meyer says the agreement gives soldiers a foot in the door.
Meyer says they screen out a lot of candidates based on their applications, but this agreement ensures that the soldiers will get a face-to-face interview for available public safety jobs. Meyer says the Public Safety Department is always looking for new people to maintain its staff.
Meyer says they run a training academy once a year, and just completed one in which 35 people graduated. He says they look for around 40 people each year to fill the retirements and other turnover. Meyer says they would also like to see staffing of the state patrol increase back the levels of 10 years ago, which would require more new people. Dostal and Meyer signed the agreement in a ceremony at the Ankeny Airport.