Hurd bill incentivizing military veterans to be hired as law enforcement officers signed into law

State and local law enforcement agencies that hire military veterans will receive preferential treatment for federal grants under legislation from U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday.

Hurd was joined by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in announcing the introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral American Law Enforcement Heroes Act in late 2016.

“This is just one of the many ways I am committed to giving back to the veteran community,” Hurd, a 10-year veteran of the CIA, said. “I was proud to lead this legislation in the House to provide an opportunity for veterans to continue their service in their local communities after they transition out of the military.”

The legislation would give priority to law enforcement agencies that hire veterans when they apply for grants under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program.

The COPS Office supports efforts by state and local police to establish and deploy community policing strategies, which aim to build trust between police and the communities they serve. Since 1994, more than $14 billion has been invested in community policing through the program.

With Fort Bliss, Joint Base San Antonio and Laughlin Air Force Base all having a presence in Texas’ 23rd congressional district, “this has a significant impact for my constituents,” Hurd said. “We should capitalize on these existing relationships to further strengthen our neighborhoods. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all our men in women in uniform for your willingness to serve your country and community.”

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the bill would help boost his department’s recruitment efforts and would give military veterans greater career opportunities.