Department of Veteran’s Affairs Police

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Police are federal police charged with protecting VA property. While on VA property, they have full police powers, carry weapons, pull traffic violators over, investigate crimes, and respond to emergencies. Their authority is derived from Title 38 of the U.S. Code section 902 which states that while on VA property VA police shall enforce federal laws, rules of Title 38 section 901, and subject to certain rules shall enforce traffic and motor vehicle laws of the State or local government within the jurisdiction where the VA property is located.

The police services of VA installations nationwide are directed and oversaw from VA headquarters in Washington D.C. The Director of Security and Law Enforcement is responsible for ensuring that programs and policies are in place to protect VA staff, patients, and visitors. The VA divides their property throughout the nation into specific regions run by Inspectors, who ensure that their respective VA Police Chiefs receive the resources which they may require to handle certain trouble spots or regional issues which may arise.

Other career opportunities exist for VA police outside of normal patrol operations. VA Police Investigators investigate more serious crimes which happen on VA property and VA executive protection officers are responsible for protecting the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the VA. The Office of Security and Law Enforcement also acts as a liaison with other law enforcement agencies on all levels, from local police to other federal agencies.

While the VA police shows preference towards hiring veterans and those with law enforcement experience, it is not entirely impossible to land a job with the agency assuming one’s resume is beefed up enough with college courses or other government employment experience.

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The Officer Down Memorial Page lists seven Department of Veteran’s Affairs Police Officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Those seven are:

Officer Marvin C. Bland died in 1985 in a car accident while responding to an emergency.
Officer Leanord B. Wilcox died in 1986 of gunfire.
Officer Mark S. Decker died in 1986 of gunfire.
Officer Ronald Hearn died in 1988 of gunfire.
Officer Gary A. Ross died in 1990 of a heart attack while responding to an emergency.
Officer Horst Harold Woods died in 1996 of gunfire.
Officer Jose Oscar Rodriguez-Reyes died in 2002 of gunfire.

Many would think that protecting a hospital would be an easy job, but as the above names have shown, the VA police share the same occupational hazards of any police agency around the country.

Sources:

Welcome to the Office of Law Enforcement and Security Home Page. U. S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Police Service. U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

38 USC Chapter 9 – Security and Law Enforcement on Property Under the Jurisdiction of the Department. U.S. House of Representatives.

The Officer Down Memorial Page.