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Successful Transitions: Eric

Eric McElroy I want to help young people in the community.
American Excellence at Work: Eric McElroy, Detroit Police Department

Current position:
Cadet in Training
Detroit Police Department (DPD)
Detroit, Michigan
Military position:
Operations Manager/Gunnery Sergeant
United States Marine Corps (USMC)

The Detroit Police Department has 4,700 sworn officers and civilian employees dedicated to making Detroit a safer place to live, work, and visit.

Eric's Story:
After 20 years in the Marine Corps, Eric McElroy's orientation toward service was evident. In Flint, Michigan, his Veterans' Representative Kimberly Harvey was upfront as to how he might put this focus to use.

"I think you'd make a fine police officer," offered Harvey, who is a veterans' employment specialist in Flint.

"I want to help young people in the community," says McElroy, who also considered coaching and other fields where he could project a positive image and be a role model.

When Harvey linked Eric with the Detroit Police Department, Lieutenant Roosevelt Lawrence was quick to see the advantages of hiring him. Though Eric is significantly older than the typical participant in the DPD training program, his maturity has proven an asset. Other trainees have appreciated Eric's maturity and leadership skills. Lawrence, in general, sees a veteran as a "disciplined, focused person." He notes that the typical veteran can understand the vision and mission of an organization.

"You can count on a veteran to complete whatever goal or mission you have," says Lawrence.

Sergeant Darwin Roche adds that veterans like Eric have a good work ethic, integrity, and professionalism along with a critical understanding of cultural diversity.

Like many law enforcement agencies, the DPD is "in need of officers." According to Lawrence and Roche, the military provides the kind of self-disciplined leaders they're seeking.

Hire a veteran like Eric now.