Following critical audit reports, Veterans Affairs has reorganized its police force to centralize control and make practices more standardized and provide “greater accountability and oversight.”
Changes include implementing a police national governance body that will incorporate all department stakeholders to effectively manage and oversee policy issues; creating a police modernization office specifically charted to develop and implement uniformed standards and address staffing challenges; and dividing the VA police force into four multi-state regions whose regional law enforcement directors will serve as the conduit for direction from the VA’s central security and preparedness office.
Also, a police chief will be placed in each of the 18 Veterans Integrated Service Networks to provide direct guidance of law enforcement operations and compliance.
At a House hearing in June, the IG’s office testified that the department’s police operations suffer from staffing shortages, the splintering of oversight responsibilities, confusion about roles, and lack of clear guidance, echoing findings from a report it issued last year. Earlier this year the IG further reported that the VA had failed to develop adequate threat assessments and written policies, which contributed to security vulnerabilities.