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FLEOA Letter to SVAC re VA Police Resources

 

February 5, 2015


 

The Honorable Johnny Isakson

Chairman

Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

131 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


 

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal

Ranking Member

Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

724 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


 

 

Dear Chairman Isakson and Ranking Member Blumenthal:

 

As the President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) and on behalf of our Veterans Affairs Police members, I am writing to you in response to a January 17th Washington Post article entitled, "After Fatal Shooting at El Paso Hospital‐VA Police Highlight Nationwide Security Lapses in Veterans Affairs Medical System." The article raised some critical Officer Safety issues that FLEOA would like address.

 

The VA Police Service is one of the largest federal uniformed law enforcement agencies and is tasked with ensuring the safety of our veterans, staff and visitors at VA facilities. While confronted with a formidable mission, the VA Police unfortunately finds itself understaffed, under resourced, and challenged by the absolute necessity of maintaining current protective equipment for Officers. As the article alludes to, we are aware of anecdotal information regarding outdated protective gear, malfunctioning radios, inter‐operability concerns, and inconsistency in facility video and emergency response systems. We cannot afford to shortchange the defensive capabilities for our wounded warriors, or the dedicated law enforcement guardians who protect them.

 

To be clear, the VA Police has strong centralized leadership, and they do a formidable job with the limited resources made available to them. We are appealing to the Senate Committee

on Veterans’ Affairs to ensure the VA Police receive the necessary funding to properly protect themselves and our wounded warriors, and to maintain a safe environment for both patients and staff. The overall VA commands a considerable budget, and we want to ensure that funding for the VA Police's essential services does not get lost or minimized.

 

We thank you for your leadership, and for recognizing the need to ensure the VA Police receive the proper resources and funding to protect our wounded warriors, themselves, and the VA facilities.


 

 

Respectfully,

Jon Adler

National President