Are you a vet? Customs, Ports of Seattle and Tacoma want to hire you

At least 50 jobs are opening to protect regional airports and seaports. 

Customs and Border Protection and the police departments for the ports of Seattle and Tacoma will be holding a hiring workshop Wednesday aimed primarily at recruiting veterans. 

"We love hiring veterans; a good percentage of our staff is veterans," said Port of Seattle Police Commander Tom Bailey. 

"Veterans can hit the ground running," he added. 

Similar points were made by Oscar Acuna, CBP Border Security Coordinator, who said veterans can easily make the switch from the military to civilian law enforcement agencies. Acuna points out that there exists a good amount of bureaucratic commonalities between the military and civilian law enforcement, which allows applicants leaving the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard to easily transfer retirement credits, vacation accruals, pay grades, and even security clearances directly to CBP. 

Veterans working for the port would have to pass state tests. The ports are also looking for "lateral hires," bringing over people with law enforcement experience from other municipal police agencies. 

But military folks with experience working as dog handlers, military bomb diffusers and other specialties are of keen interest, said Bailey. 

Ok, so what do these police jobs pay? That's where things get complicated. 

At the most basic level CBP jobs start at $47,000 and can range up to $109,000, depending on the background and experience level of the individual applicant. Port of Seattle pays $67,059 a year to start based on a base salary of $32.24 an hour. Lateral hires of officers with five years of law enforcement experience are starting at $40 an hour. 

On top of this add extra money for shift differentials, overtime, and the Port of Seattle will pay 4 percent to 6 percent more for an applicant with a Bachelor's or Master's degree at the port and for cost of living adjustments for locations. The Seattle Field Office is among the highest, among other benefits. 

The need for new hires is due to several reasons. Growth at Sea-Tac Airport is a big one. For several years Sea-Tac has been considered the fastest growing large airport in the country and is now the ninth largest. Retirement and attrition are another. Twenty-five of the jobs are at Customs and Border Protection, 20 jobs are at the Port of Seattle, and most of those are at the airport. 

The in-person event will be at the Beijing Room of the Sea-Tac Airport Conference Center between 1 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Register for the event here.

© 2017 KING-TV


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