DC Police hope to add more veterans to the force amid officer recruitment crisis

Recruiting police officers is a crisis facing law enforcement agencies across the nation and here in the District, so with thousands of military members in town this weekend for the Marine Corps Marathon, D.C. police are hoping those who have served our country will now come serve the nation’s capital.

The Metropolitan Police Department is looking to hire hundreds of veterans as it works to maintain its force of roughly 4,000 officers.

The reason behind the decision is that the skills many veterans develop in the service, make them ideal candidates for police work.

READ MORE: Mayor Bowser announces budget plans to boost MPD officer recruitment

FOX 5 spoke with several Marines who are now MPD officers about how the jobs can be equally fulfilling.

"Helping somebody feel peace, I think that’s why I joined the Marine Corps and the police, and I think it's that sense of satisfaction of making somebody feel safe," Officer Epshane Porter tells FOX 5.

Other Marines turned MPD officers that spoke with FOX 5 told us about how both military and police service allowed them to make strong bonds with others.

"That brotherhood that trust, we train together every week, hours of training….we hang out on weekends sometimes together, so it's like a family. Kind of how it was in the marine corps as well," says MPD Officer John Bewley.

To help with the recruiting efforts, MPD is offering $20,000 bonuses and $6,000 in rental assistance for new hires.

READ MORE: Sign-on bonuses being offered by multiple DMV police departments amid officer shortage

Aside from the bonuses, MPD officials say there are other perks to working in the nation’s capital.

"We protect the President of the United States, we’ve had the pope here, there's just a variety of things that go on here within the city and that’s different in and of itself," Former Marine and current MPD Officer Steven Mazanec tells FOX 5.

So if you're a veteran looking to put on a badge, MPD officers have one piece of advice for interested candidates.

"Make sure this is something you really want to do. You have to have passion to do this job not just because it’s a job. You have to want to do this job because it takes a lot," says Officer Mazanec.