The bravery and competence displayed by members of our VA police departments don’t end when they leave the building. Many of these officers once served in the military themselves and have found a way to continue their service as part of our team.
Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Veterans at work, there are many shining examples of VA police officers who carry that same spirit of compassion into their daily lives. Here are just a few of those stories.
The extra mile
Providence VA Medical Center Chief of Police John Thibodeau once arrested a Veteran for disorderly conduct in the VA facility. The story could have ended there if Thibodeau hadn’t gone the extra mile and given the Veteran his business card. This past year — three years after the arrest — that Veteran used it, calling Thibodeau for assistance.
Recognizing the patient’s distress, Thibodeau, who is also a Veteran, encouraged the caller to go the nearest VA. When the Veteran expressed his concerns about dealing with mental health providers, Thibodeau reached out to his counterparts at the closest facility to assist the Veteran in getting the help he needed.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s just something we would normally do,” Thibodeau said. “I know any of the officers here in Providence would do something similar to make sure all Veterans get the help they need.”
When training takes over
While attending a wedding ceremony, Larry Templeton, a police officer at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, jumped into action when a guest collapsed into unconsciousness.
Templeton, attending the event as a member of the wedding party, instantly rushed to the unresponsive man’s aid. He began life-saving measures and directed other guests to call for assistance and secure equipment to help.
“I felt like a duck on the water,” said Templeton, an Army Veteran. “Calm on the surface but paddling like crazy underneath trying to get everything right. The training I received from VA gave me what I needed to act and save this man’s life.”
Templeton saved the man’s life and then went right back to his groomsman’s duties.
The right time
Officer Anthony Harris, an Army Veteran who works at Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans’ Hospital, is credited with saving the life of a stranger recently. He was headed home on a freeway when he noticed a man with one leg over the side of the pedestrian bridge on an overpass.
Fearing the man was attempting suicide, Harris stopped his car and spoke with the man, ultimately talking him back to safety while they awaited first responders, who were able to connect the man with support.
“When someone needs help, you help them,” Harris said of the incident. “Whether on duty or off duty, we serve Veterans, but I think it reinforces that we serve the community as a whole.”
Work at VA
Both on and off the job, VA police officers use their training and experience to make a difference in the lives of others. Join their ranks.
NOTE: Positions listed in this post were open at the time of publication. All current available positions are listed at USAJobs.gov.