A policy aimed at enhancing employment opportunities in Riverside County government for military veterans and their family members helped 46 former service members land county jobs, officials said Tuesday.

A year ago, Supervisors V. Manuel Perez and Chuck Washington, a former Naval aviator, introduced a series of recommendations — which the entire Board of Supervisors embraced — intended to facilitate hiring vets.

Six months later, the Department of Human Resources implemented the key component of Perez’s and Washington’s “Veterans Improvement Program” — a revised points-based system that awards service members with hiring credits when they apply for a county job, moving them ahead in the screening process.

The policy has put 46 vets on the payroll, and another 18 are in the final stages of processing, according to Perez’s chief adviser, Tom Freeman.

“I am so proud of our initial results to hire these patriotic men and women who served our nation,” Perez said. “This is a great start for us, and I look forward to seeing more veterans hired in 2019.”

By last count, the county was home to 132,228 vets, the largest number of whom — 34,951 — reside in Washington’s supervisorial district.

The county’s original veterans preference hiring program was enacted in 1974. It had not been updated by HR officials until Perez and Washington brought forward their recommendations last December.

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