The VA Police are the armed and uniformed federal law enforcement service of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA Police are responsible for the protection of VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) and other facilities such as Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), Health Care Centers (HCCs), annexes, and other facilities operated by VA. The VA Police also serve VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), including locations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The safety, security, and wellness of all who provide care and services is a leadership priority.

The primary role of the VA Police is to deter and stop crime, keep order, and investigate crimes that may have happened within the legal authority of the VA. Some cases are investigated by special agents from the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

VA Police and police specialty positions, such as Criminal Investigators, get their authority legally from Title 38 of the United States Code (USC), Sections 901 and 902. Rules, regulations, and enforcement actions specific to the VA are written in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Local VA Police Services structure

Each local VA Police Service have a rank structure and roles that range from sergeant to chief. The VA Police also have groups of specialty jobs or service elements, such as K-9, bicycle, and motorcycle patrols.

Partnering with local law enforcement

The Chief of Police Service is required to have written agreements with local law enforcement partners. These written agreements outline how community agencies respond to crimes that happen on VA property, to include our Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), Health Care Centers (HCCs), annexes and other sites.

We conduct joint training with our local law enforcement partners to build up relationships, and skills and tactics. These tactics may include active threat drills, crisis intervention training, disaster response, and more.

Contact your local VA Police team for more.

Female VA Police Officer in uniform standing in front of a VA facility

VA Police safety services include

  • Law enforcement
  • Criminal investigations
  • Crime prevention
  • Exterior vehicle patrols
  • Interior foot patrols
  • Physical security surveys
  • Vulnerability surveys
  • Predictive crime analysis
  • Telecommunication services
  • Partnerships with surrounding jurisdictions with information sharing
  • Workplace violence prevention
  • High-level facility committees that address workplace violence and physical security

Interested in becoming a VA Police Officer?

VA Police is 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 with VA police through the DoD SkillBridge program. For more information email

How to Obtain a Copy of a VA Police Report

To obtain a copy of a VA Police Report, you must submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to your facility VA Privacy Officer.  For more information, visit FOIA Requests – Freedom of Information Act FOIA.

Frequently Asked Questions

VA Police Body-worn, In-car Cameras

An officer body-worn is a relatively small device that records interactions between community members and VA Police. The video and audio recordings from body-worn cameras can be used by officers to demonstrate transparency to their communities; to document statements, observations, behaviors, and other evidence; and to deter unprofessional, illegal, and inappropriate behaviors by both VA Police and the public.

The mission of the VA Police is to “protect those who served” – including Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors – and as well as VA’s great public servants. As a part of this mission, VA Police will begin to use in-car and body-worn cameras.

This policy will increase the safety of VA facilities, build trust, improve transparency, support officers, strengthen police accountability, promote de-escalation by both law enforcement officers and those they encounter, enhance the ability to resolve officer-involved incidents and complaints, and more.

VA is implementing this policy as a part of President Biden’s Executive Order 14074, “Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety,” as well as the bipartisan Cleland-Dole Act of 2022. The executive order requires that all Federal law enforcement agencies use body-worn cameras to promote equitable, transparent, accountable, constitutional, and effective law enforcement practices, and the bipartisan Cleland-Dole Act requires that all VA Police officers wear body cameras that record and store video and audio.

Body-worn cameras will be worn on the officer’s outermost garment, at chest level to maximize the camera’s field of view; and to facilitate operation of the body-worn camera by the officer who is wearing it.

Officers will be required to wear body-worn cameras when in full police uniform, on patrol, or on stationary posts. Plainclothes Officers are only required to wear body-worn cameras when responding to an incident or emergency.

VA is taking a phased approach to deployment of body-worn-cameras. The first deployment will be June 20th with VA’s Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN 22). Body-worn cameras are expected to be rolled out across the country by the end of 2023.

VA is committed to protecting the privacy of the Veterans, families, caregivers, and survivors we serve. Before this policy is implemented in any given location, all local VA Privacy Officers and VA Police Officers will attend extensive training to ensure that they are not compromising the privacy of those we serve. During this training, they will learn when and how to use their body-worn cameras, where the use of body-worn cameras is prohibited, how to protect the privacy of anyone who comes to VA facilities, when body-worn camera footage can and cannot be released, and more.

Unless there is a clear and compelling need for a recording, no video will be recorded in locations where a reasonable expectation of personal privacy exists. Footage from the body-worn cameras will only be released when approved by the local VA Chief of Police or designee for police investigations and court proceedings, or for limited other purposes as allowed under federal law. There will also be coordination with Regional Counsel and the Facility Release of Information Officer for any request for public release.

VA has taken steps to ensure that the use of these cameras does not infringe upon the privacy of those we serve.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects against unauthorized viewing, releasing, or publishing of certain records, and VA police officers and privacy officers are undergoing extensive training to ensure that such violations do not happen. This training is completed before any VA implements body-worn cameras at any facility.

Body-worn cameras and in-car cameras are not recording all the time. Officers are required to manually turn on their body-worn cameras when conducting investigations and during enforcement encounters. In-car cameras will be turned on for traffic stops, while responding to calls for service, and while transporting those in custody.

Body-worn cameras are automatically activated to record video and audio when 1) an officer draws their issued firearm from their duty belt holster (a signal device on the holster detects the firearm has been drawn and sends a wireless signal to activate body-worn camera recording), or 2) an officer activates the emergency lights in their police vehicle (a signal device in the vehicle sends a wireless signal to activate the body-worn camera recording).

Whenever officers are required to wear their body-worn camera, the camera will be turned on and will be in “Pre-Event Buffering Mode.” While in Pre-Event Buffering Mode, the camera is continuously but temporarily storing the most recent thirty (30) seconds of video (without audio) that is added to the beginning of a permanently stored video and audio recording when the body-worn camera is activated to record.

Although VA Police will make every effort to notify parties of the body-worn camera recording device, VA Police are not required to initiate or cease recording of an event, situation, or circumstance solely at the demand of a subject or citizen.

Unless there is a clear and compelling need for a recording, no video will be recorded in locations where a reasonable expectation of personal privacy exists.

Body-worn camera video and audio recordings are initially temporarily stored on the camera itself. Once an officer returns the camera to its docking station at the end of their shift, the video evidence is automatically uploaded to a cloud-based digital evidence locker where it is managed, and chain-of-custody is maintained.

The length of time that videos will be stored depend on how any given incident is classified. For example, an incidental or false activation recording may be stored for just 30 days, whereas an investigation would be stored for years. The retention periods range from a minimum of 30 days up to 25 years.

Footage from these cameras will only be used for police investigations and court proceedings, or for limited other purposes as allowed under federal law. VA law enforcement officers will be authorized to view video evidence, and only for the creation of a Police incident report or during Police investigations. Subsequently, the evidence can be released to the US Attorney’s Office for court proceedings.

Wearing body-worn cameras helps VA police by improving community trust, transparency, and accountability. They also add an additional layer of safety for the officer by deterring unlawful conduct by the public and ensuring that incidents are documented accurately in the moment.