Three Virginia law enforcement agencies have received federal grants to hire a total of 10 recent military veterans as police officers and sheriff’s deputies, the White House announced Monday.


The grants will fund more than 600 new law enforcement positions and save 200 positions that were recently eliminated or in danger of being cut due to local budget cuts. 

All of the new positions created under the so-called COPS 2012 Hiring Program must be filled by veterans who served at least 180 days since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The White House said that the initiative helps fulfill a promise President Obama made in his State of the Union address to help put unemployed veterans back to work in first-responder jobs and other positions drawing on skills developed in the military.

Three Virginia departments have received grants totaling more than $1 million: Chesapeake Police Department, got $536,119 to fund five officers; Hopewell Bureau of Police got $248,382 for two officers; and Page County Sheriff’s Department got $330,891 for three deputies.