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Navy Veteran finds his calling as VA police officer

At VA, there are many different careers available to assist and support Veterans. Law enforcement is one of them.

Navy Veteran Nicholas Stark knew he wanted to work with Veterans after he retired, but he wasn’t sure what this looked like or how to accomplish it. 

As his military retirement date came closer, Stark learned about SkillBridge. A Department of Defense program, it provides transitioning service members with opportunities to build their resumes, explore employment interests, develop job skills and gain valuable federal government work experience that will help them prepare for their adjustment to the workplace. Police officer training is one of those options. 

After completing an internship at VA of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Ark., Stark graduated from the basic police officer course at VA’s Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC). 

LETC develops programs and curricula designed to prepare newly hired VA police officers to provide professional law enforcement services in a health care environment. The center also conducts needs assessments of field operations to ensure currency and validity of training programs, and provides guidance to facility managers and police service chiefs concerning training practice and policy. 

Navy to VA with no break in service 

“I was able to return to my Navy active duty station and out-process, and begin my career with VA Police with no break in service between the Navy and my start date with VA of the Ozarks,” Starks shared.

VA police are responsible for the protection of VA health care facilities. Their primary role is to deter and stop crime, keep order and investigate crimes that may have happened within the legal authority of VA.

“We appreciate the skills the Navy taught Officer Stark as a master-at-arms, and his personal initiative to continue his education and training,” said Chief of Police Phillip Durbin. “Officer Stark is a great addition to our VA police team.”

Pictured above, Police Chief Philip Durbin (left) congratulates new VA Police Officer Nicholas Stark along with North Florida/South Georgia VA Police Chief Edward Avila, VA’s DoD Skillbridge Program Champion.

VA Police is always looking for qualified applicants to join its team. Desirable candidates must have either criminal justice education, experience as a police officer, experience as a military police officer or a combination of education and experience.

Visit USAJOBS to view current VA Police job announcements. Transitioning service members may be eligible for employment training, internship and apprenticeship opportunities through the DoD SkillBridge program.

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