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N.Y. county launches fast-track program for soldiers to cops

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office says the SkillsBridge program is a win-win situation

fort drum sheriff

Rob Maciol

By Suzie Ziegler

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. — A new program in western New York state will make it easier for soldiers at Fort Drum to begin a second career in law enforcement.

According to Spectrum 1 News, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Department of Defense to offer a special internship for active-duty soldiers. The SkillsBridge Program lasts 60 to 90 days and is available for soldiers before their active duty is over.

Specialist Jay-Cee Miller, who comes from a police family, says it’s the perfect opportunity.

“I just was going through all my classes on transitioning and I came across this program, and I was like, ‘Oh this is right up my alley,’” Miller said. “It’s crazy to me that I’m still being paid full, and I’m coming here. I’m learning about a new career.”

Sgt. Carey Phair of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office says it’s a win-win situation.

“We’re helping ourselves out but we’re also helping out the veterans of our country,” Phair said. “Having people that have had high-stress situations in their life, transitioning in here, knowing that there’s structure, and knowing that there’s stress makes it sort of easier.”

The sheriff’s office hopes to see the program expand to other military installations, according to the report.