If your are interested in knowing what the Veterans Affairs Police Service (VAPS) does, its not to the degree one may think when reading the job announcement for a Detective position, which was posted on USAjobs.gov:
The posting talks about all the major crimes a VAPS Detective can investigate. it goes into the surveillance aspect of the job; but the truth is, this is very misleading.
Most crimes on VA property are issued on a citation, known as a District Court Violation Notice. Those crimes are within the Code of Federal Regulations:
As you look at this document, a VAPS employee must use the CFR for any crimes on property before he or she may use any other charges in Federal Statue. They cannot “assimilate,” charges when charges of a Federal level exist. They must used the Federal law, even if they do not like the wording of it.
A lot of violations on Federal property are merely citations. A lot of those posted in the job announcement are either citations or out of the actual scope of a VAPS employee.
Any felony must be reported to the VA Office of Inspector General (VAOIG). The VAOIG will decide what happens next and if they will allow a VAPS employee to investigate a matter.
Most times, the investigations by a Detective of VAPS will be small crimes, and low level misdemeanors. They will not be checking your travel. There are administrative offices for those matters. They do not perform compliance oversight of peoples jobs, there are people for that too.
The main purpose of VAPS is for your safety and security while you are on VA property. If you run off property, the VAPS cannot follow you. They need permission, per their policies and procedures to investigate any matter, which has occurred on property, off property:
As you can see, there is a lot of steps which need to happen to investigate anything of property. We suspect it is highly unlikely this would ever be approved. If its a felony, then the VAPS has a duty to report it to the VAOIG or they could be in trouble. They must do so before moving forward in an investigation. This is clearly indicated in at least two VAOIG findings related to the matter:
You will also notice a bulletin posting which states all employees obligation to report felonies:
So, if you hope to be the applicant selected because of the “adventure,” you think you will have because of the job posting, please be aware, the job will not require covert investigations unless there is a lot of approvals from various higher level (national level) employees. You won’t be conducting other cases as it states either. Travel fraud is not a normal or routine item for VAPS to review. It would also be an OIG matter. Felonies must be reported to OIG. Most administrative reviews already have the routing for this within the process. In the law enforcement world, it would be a phone call and most times the senior executive of the hospital would have an internal administrative review before even thinking about using the VAPS for a case.
Here is an exert into another VAOIG report which can be found on VA.gov:
As you can see, even in this type of matter, it was referred to an external party, not a VAPS employee.
Please do not be mislead by the job announcement of VAPS positions. The laws and procedures have clear process which will very rarely result in any type of VAPS inquiry for any level of felony, unless it is in their view, and in the moment.
Also, the only prosecuting attorney a VAPS employee is allowed to consult with is a United States level prosecutor. There is no real need to consult with a State level prosecutor.
Categories: The Eagle Review - Federal