Office of Operations, Security, and Preparedness
Security and Law Enforcement
VA Police Officers and Inspectors reunite in Washington D.C. in January of 2006. These officers were recipients of the Secretary's Hero Award for their actions in Washington and the Gulf Coast area for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
VA Police and The Office of Security and Law Enforcement
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains a well-trained police force responsible for enforcing the law and providing protection to patients, visitors, employees and property at VA facilities. Shouldering these duties are approximately 2,700 trained VA Police officers stationed at all major VA medical facilities and many VA outpatient clinics.
Requirements for VA Police Officers
VA Police officers must have specialized law enforcement experience to be hired as a police officer by VA. Standards are set by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and require experience with basic laws and regulations, law enforcement operations, practices and techniques. Prior jobs must include responsibility for protecting life and property and the maintenance of law and order. This experience may have been gained as a police officer for a municipal, county, state or federal agency, a military police officer or a parks or forest service police officer, or in similar positions that require the necessary knowledge and skills in law enforcement. A degree in criminal justice may be substituted for some experience.
VA Police officers undergo a variety of background checks and must must meet basic medical standards related to the performance of law enforcement duties.
The Office of Security and Law Enforcement
The Office of Security and Law Enforcement is responsible for providing guidance, consultation and direct operational support for all elements of VA. The office is headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary, a position that is currently vacant. The office is organized into three main sections:
- Police Service is headquartered at VA Central Office in Washington, D.C. It conducts police program oversight, policy development and strategic planning, physical security standards and practices, protection of VA Central Office buildings and executive protection of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. OS&LE also provides consultation and liaison services to all elements of VA and works closely with other federal law enforcement agencies.
- Security and Investigations Center (SIC) manages VA’s personnel suitability and security investigation programs. It provides quality and timely background investigations and adjudications for VA employees and contractors in sensitive positions for all VA entities nationwide. The SIC also manages fingerprint processing and identification badge and access card design and production for Central Office employees. The SIC is co-located with the LETC on the campus of the VA Medical Center in North Little Rock, AR
- VA Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC) provides professional training and development for VA Police officers throughout the system. This office is located on the campus of the VA Medical Center in North Little Rock, Ark.