Military veterans welcome in Mukilteo Police DepartmentCity agency 1 of 20 nationwide to make Military Times’ ‘Best for Vets’ list
Mukilteo’s police department is the smallest of some 20 agencies nationwide to be named by Military Times’ as one of the best law enforcement agencies for veteran and reservist employment.
“Being the smallest agency on this list is an honor,” said Police Chief Cheol Kang, a commander in the Naval Reserve. “It shows the level of effort we make to recruit and take care of our veterans. Many larger agencies may have dedicated personnel devoted to this process, but we as an entire agency take on this duty.”
2017 marks the fourth year in a row that Military Times has recognized the department’s efforts to recruit military veterans by including it on its list of “Best for Vets: Law Enforcement” employers.
While Mukilteo does not dedicate any portion of its budget to recruiting veterans and reservists, it does actively seek such employees, giving them preference on entry-level testing, offering retirement credit for their service and working to ease the transition into civil service.
“For newly hired veterans, we try to pair them up with another veteran in the department to assist with transition and potential GI Bill usage while at the Police Academy,” Kang said. “This informal and internal program has been around for the past 10 years.”
One third of the agency’s 33 employees are veterans or reservists. Kang, who nominated the department, is proud to be one of them.
“The department has always been supportive of my reserve duties and has consistently gone above and beyond the expectations of an employer to ensure all of our reservists have what they need for their jobs and their families,” he said.
As the department is currently hiring, Kang said he hopes to increase its number of employees with a background in military service.
“For our vacant positions, we definitely want to continue our push for veteran recruiting,” he said.
10 of Mukilteo’s 28 officers have served
Police Chief Cheol Kang – Commander, Navy Reserve
Officer Joe Evans – Staff Sergeant, Army Reserve
Corporal Joe Bredstrand – Army
Corporal Jeremy Ballinger – Air Force
Officer Myron Travis – Marine Corps
Officer Jennifer Rekow – Army
Officer Tony Falso – Coast Guard
Officer Jess Brecht – Coast Guard
Officer Andy Illyn – Coast Guard
CSO Shanita Duke – Army
Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said, “Military veterans bring unique skill sets and life experiences that the law enforcement community wants and needs.
“Our police department understands and appreciates the sacrifices our service members have made and continue to make for our country and that is shown through our recruiting efforts to reach out to military personnel transitioning from active-duty service.”