Did you know VA that has its own 4,000-member police force? To grow and maintain that workforce, we need to hire police officers, supervisory police officers, and detectives to work at VA medical facilities and national cemeteries around the country. According to the VHA Workforce Management and Consulting office, police officer ranks first on its list of nonclinical shortage occupations.
If you want to help Veterans but don’t have health care experience, you may be interested in a VA law enforcement career. VA police have many, varied duties that benefit not only Veterans, but also the communities they live in. Here are some things you should know about the VA police force:
- Nearly 90% of VA police officers are Veterans.
- With special training to keep Veterans safe, VA police help prevent Veteran suicide, a serious national crisis.
- VA police keep Veterans’ health top-of-mind by enforcing the use of masks and temperature screenings at VA facilities.
- The VA police force includes a K-9 unit.
- The origins of the VA police force date back more than 150 years, to President Abraham Lincoln’s time.
- VA police officers help communities during acts of terrorism and hurricanes, as well as other natural disasters.
During Hurricane Harvey, VA police secured a large truck to safely deliver Dr. Christy Chai to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (VAMC) to treat a Veteran with a ruptured appendix. The Veteran had been swimming to the VAMC for help. “I drive just a regular old SUV and I could not get out of my garage because of the water,” said Chai, chief of general surgery and surgical oncology at the VAMC. “VA police were actually able to come to my residence.”
We’re helping officers perform even more efficiently and effectively through a “next generation” initiative to modernize operations and improve decision making, infrastructure, oversight and accountability. The ultimate goal is to increase the safety and security of Veterans, staff and visitors to VA facilities.
In addition to sharing the mission of serving Veterans and the Veteran community, VA employees can also take advantage of great benefits. These include:
- Generous vacation and sick time. You’ll begin to accumulate vacation time on your very first day and can earn 13-26 days off per year, plus 10 paid federal holidays and 13 sick days.
- Robust health care package. Your health care costs are covered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which provides the widest choice of health plans in the country.
- Excellent retirement plan. You can begin saving for retirement through the Federal Employees Retirement System. This three-tier retirement plan includes Social Security benefits, a Thrift Savings Plan and a pension.
- Workplace flexibility. With many VA positions, you can flex your schedule to fit your needs or telework on a regular or occasional basis with a formal agreement.
- Educational assistance.We also offer a wide range of education support programs, including debt reduction and loan forgiveness, training incentive scholarships and programs for Veterans.
Work at VA
With a law enforcement career at VA, you can help Veterans, their family members and your fellow employees stay safe at VA facilities.