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Make an impact with a VA Police career

If you want to help Veterans but don’t have health care experience, you may be interested in a career working with VA Police. These officers have varied duties that benefit not only Veterans, but also the communities they live in, serving as an active federal police force in and around our facilities. 

Recently, Maj. Mark Moran, a senior physical security specialist who works in the New Jersey VA Healthcare System, joined our weekly “Talk About It Tuesday” livestream on LinkedIn to explain the work of VA Police, and why it’s a mission that can truly have an impact.

The work of VA Police

As Moran explained, VA Police is a specialized law enforcement service within VA that patrols health care systems, primarily VA hospitals. However, VA Police also respond to any incidents that happen at VA clinics, benefit offices, and national cemeteries.

“It’s definitely a unique setting,” he said. “You see different things and do different things.”

Moran also noted there is room for growth as a part of VA Police, citing it as one of his favorite things about working for VA.

“You can move up in the ranks,” he explained. “I started out as an officer, and I’ve been lucky enough to help out, move up the ranks, and work with our central office.”

Even within the service, there are different specialties. K-9 officers are used throughout the VA network to add an additional level of security and an additional means of investigation, while criminal investigators use an array of innovative procedures to solve crimes that go beyond standard patrol assignments. There are even training officers who support ongoing leaning and development.

“There are endless possibilities,” said Moran. “It’s truly something great.”

Paths to a VA Police career

With nearly 90% of our police officers coming from a military background, law enforcement with VA Police is an excellent career opportunity for Veterans without health care training who are interested in helping other Veterans.

However, that’s not the only path to a successful career with VA Police.

Moran explained he came to VA from another law enforcement agency, having discovered the opportunity through colleagues who were also applying to work at VA. He also shared that, “VA will allow you to come in as a police officer with education,” so people with criminal justice degrees can find their way to VA, as well.

Whatever your background, Moran stressed, “First and foremost, go on USAJOBS and just start looking at the announcements. Apply, submit your application, but do the research. Before you actually choose to come here, understand the mission of the agency.”

The mission of VA Police

“VA Police is very unique. We have a model of policing that they ingrain from when you go into the academy,” Moran explained. “The model is to demonstrate the core values of the agency, and to act that way toward Veterans. That’s the ICARE model.”

These core values—integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence—define how everyone at VA, including VA Police officers, fulfill our mission to care for Veterans. These 5 ideals describe our culture and serve as the foundation for the way we interact with both our Veterans and our fellow employees.

  • Integrity: We choose to act with the highest professional standards and maintain the trust of all with whom we engage.
  • Commitment: We work diligently to serve Veterans and are driven by an earnest belief in VA’s mission.
  • Advocacy: We are truly Veteran-centric, as we work to identify, consider, and advance the interests of Veterans.
  • Respect: We treat all those we serve and with whom we work with dignity and respect, because we believe you must show respect to earn it.
  • Excellence: We strive for the highest quality and value continuous improvement.

“It’s being committed,” Moran explained, “and knowing that you’re coming here to serve Veterans, to make their lives better, however we can, while working as a law enforcement officer at VA.”

Work at VA

“Going into work, seeing the Veterans, being able to build relationships with them and the staff, that’s one of my favorite things,” said Moran. “It was a great decision. I’m so glad that I came here.”

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