“A lot of agencies, especially law enforcement, are hurting for people like these vets,” Almeida said. And many veterans are eager to join. Juan Hernandez, 24, spent almost five years in the Navy before returning to Arcadia. “I’m thinking something like law enforcement or firefighting,” he said. “I want to stay fit and have an exciting job, and help people know that someone is trying to do something good for them.” Ernest Garcia, 33, returned to Whittier a few days ago after traveling the world as a firefighter in the Navy. The Los Angeles Fire Department was very interested, he said. Several of the agencies at the job fair encourage service men and women to time their applications so that they can begin working when they return home. In a program called “We’ll Wait For You,” the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will hold applications for up to 48 months, Clayton said. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SOUTH EL MONTE – As 25-year-old Army veteran Evelyn Argueta strolled from table to table at a job fair Tuesday, her military background made her a clear favorite among law enforcement recruiters. She had hardly finished speaking to the Los Angeles Police Department’s recruiter when the Los Angeles County Police representative, whom she had spoken to earlier, swung past. “She’s going to be working for the L.A. County police,” Sgt. Bradley Sheffield said, with LAPD Officer Jorge De Jesus listening close by. Newly returned veterans were much sought after by law enforcement agencies at the job fair, which also attracted civilians. “Veterans are in shape, they have discipline, they know about weapons and tactics,” De Jesus said. “They’re pretty much one of our top, most viable candidates, as opposed to someone who has played Nintendo all their life.” But because everyone wants them, it’s harder to get them, Sheffield said. “I can’t think of one police agency that isn’t hiring right now,” he said. Most law enforcement agencies have faced a rough few years in trying to attract new officers, deputies and agents. Recruiters cite many reasons, including that the sort of people they would normally recruit had already joined the military. Events such as the job fair, which was sponsored by the state’s Employment Development Department, are very helpful, Clayton said. Manuel Almeida, the EDD’s veteran employment representative, said veterans are a resource that many of the agencies are eager to tap.