HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Leaving the army and finding your next job can be challenging for veterans. Henrico Police Chief Eric English and Army Colonel Toni Reike signed the memorandum of agreement today, signaling an opportunity for soldiers leaving the army to find employment in local law enforcement.

The agreement is part of the Partnership for Youth Success program, also known as PaYS. The program started in 2000 and prepares soldiers for their next careers.

Since 2022, it’s been in the Richmond area. It connects the army with the community and shows what jobs there are in the future.

Sgt. Patrick English, who works for the Henrico County Police Division, is a veteran who never used PaYS, but used similar programs to help him find his next career.

“It’s a smooth transition from serving in the military to serving in the local police department,” English said. “To have a program in place that specifically addresses those needs of the veterans and the needs of the local police department is going to absolutely pay dividends for both the veterans and the community of the police division service.”

Colonel Toni Reike speaks during the signing ceremony. (Photo: Jeremy Wall, 8News)

English also told 8News that this isn’t the only reason transitioning into law enforcement is smooth for veterans.

“There’s a ton of transferable skills from the military to law enforcement. To have a program that actively seeks out potential employers escorts them right into a job that they’re already set up to be successful in,” English explained.

Henrico police officers and soldiers gather after the ceremony. (Photo: Jeremy Wall, 8News)

The Henrico County Police Division is hosting a basic police academy this summer for anyone looking to join the force, including veterans. Soldiers leaving the army between now and June are eligible for the academy.