When you think VA police, the first image that springs to mind might be a uniformed officer. But there are a number of specialty roles available on our force – including K-9 officers, criminal investigators and training officers.
“As VA police officers, our efforts are concentrated on the safety of our nation’s heroes and their families when they visit our facilities,” said Gulf Coast VA Chief of Police Services Keith Bradley. “We’re committed to ensuring every Veteran who comes through our doors has a positive experience.”
Expanding on the traditional education provided by our VA Law Enforcement Training Center, these roles could offer a unique career path to serving our Veterans.
Take a look at a few of the specialty positions available as part of our VA police service.
Our police force isn’t just limited to two-legged officers. Canine officers are used throughout the VA network to add an additional level of security, and an additional means of investigation, for VA police.
“A police K9 can save hours of work when looking for a lost person or patient, increasing safety for those at risk,” explained Sergeant Matthew Paquette of White River Junction VA, who recently welcomed his K9 partner, Ripp, a black Labrador retriever.
As a K-9 officer, you can expect to work with your canine partner in many ways, not the least of which will be performing searches on VA property. You may be searching for illicit drugs or missing patients or screening vehicles, buildings, rooms, luggage or even mail for additional threats best uncovered by your partner’s enhanced senses.
You’ll also be responsible for the care of your canine partner. Feeding, watering, exercising, grooming and socialization are all a part of your daily routine. Your canine is a valuable member of the team, and they need your help to stay at the top of their game.
You would use an extensive array of innovative procedures to solve crimes that go beyond standard patrol assignments or cannot be resolved through the reporting officer’s initial investigation.
Those crimes are not just limited to external problems, either. Internal affairs investigations fall under the purview of criminal investigators, and you would explore alleged administrative misconduct, patient abuse and other improprieties that may be reported in a facility.
You might also specialize in analyzing data regarding crimes. By examining crime trends, performance metrics and customer service data, you can develop new processes for improvements at facilities and find better ways to keep our Veterans safe.
If you have a gift for teaching and a passion for sharing your knowledge, the role of a VA police training officer may be of interest to you.
Police departments have extensive training qualifications for their officers, and VA is no different. As a training officer, you will be responsible not only for the training and preparation of the officers around you, but also re-certification procedures.
While this training may take the form of classroom-style lectures, our training officers are also responsible for the initial and ongoing weapons training of your fellow officers. Your duties also expand to include working as the primary armorer of your service, maintaining weapons and ammunition.
Work at VA
“The rewarding part is that we consistently have the ability to be able to help people who are actually in need,” said VA Police Officer Matthew Marquez.
Join our 4,000-strong law enforcement team and make a difference, keeping Veterans and their families safe at VA medical facilities around the country.