Jail reopening job pool for vets

The Associated Press
Published March 31, 2006, 6:10 AM CST

The Cook County sheriff's office is set to open a special application process Friday, aimed at giving veterans and recently released reservists an exclusive shot at 350 corrections officer jobs.

Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan said he decided to hold the application process for vets and reservists after reading local coverage about the troubles that they face in finding jobs.

``Some of those stories I read -- I can't believe that these kids fight for the country and they come back and there's not an opportunity for them,'' Sheahan said. ``I thought: Why don't we reach out?'' The sheriff's office usually only offers applications once a year in November.

The application process opening Friday will be available to members of the military who were on active duty between November 2004 and November 2005 and weren't able to apply for jail jobs at that time.

Sheahan said veterans and reservists ``make good law enforcement people.''

``We're a semi-military organization,'' he said. ``Military people know how to take an order and a command. They know the structure. They're used to structure. They have the same rankings as we do, and they turn out to be good employees.''

The U.S. Labor Department has ranked Illinois last in being able to help veterans find jobs.

Earlier this week, state and local lawmakers proposed several initiatives they hope will better help Illinois veterans get and keep jobs after they return from service overseas.

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