VA Northern California Health Care System
VA Police Service
VA NCHCS Police
Role of VA Police
The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs Police is to enhance the quality of life in our environment through innovation and excellence in policing. In partnership with the community we serve through education, prevention and enforcement, we will maintain order, deter crime, and achieve a presence of security. Our members pride themselves in being the model for law enforcement with vision, while performing with integrity and professionalism.
Our vision is to support the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Our priority is to provide a safe working environment for all VA and Contract Employees. We will maintain the ability to respond to natural, as well as national emergencies. We will strive to build a strong collaboration with other federal and local law enforcement agencies. We pledge to provide a safe environment for our Veterans, their families, visitors and our local community.
Greetings. I’m Mike Kilburn, Chief of Police for VA Northern California Health Care System. On behalf of the VA Police who serve and protect Veterans across Northern California, and our entire health care system, I want to express my remorse and concern toward those impacted by the recent killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
An effective police department is built on a commitment to justice, community engagement, and public trust. But incidents like the one in Minneapolis only destroy that trust. Which is why it is important that each of you know it is both my responsibility - and promise - that VA NorCal Police Department will hold its officers to the highest standards of accountability.
I do not tolerate racism, untruthfulness, or criminal activity from the officers who work for me, and they know this full well by my actions and not just by my words. On that same note, I am honored every day to work alongside each of them. Many of our officers served honorably in the Armed Forces, having deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe. They are some of the best who don a law enforcement uniform each day.
But this promise of integrity must be built on a foundation of humble listening and concrete action. Therefore, I commit to you, that VA NorCal will:
- …uphold our zero-tolerance policy towards racism or any other forms of discrimination on the part of employees, patients, visitors – and especially among our police officers.
- …expand our already robust de-escalation training among our police and other VA staff.
- …invite feedback from the communities in which we serve through listening sessions, employee and Veteran town halls, and VA Police meet-and-greet sessions.
- …provide clear and transparent communication to both VA employees and our Veterans through regular newsletters, social media outreach, and community events.
- …get you the help you need: The COVID-19 pandemic had already placed significant stress on many of our lives, and, now, the recent events surrounding the killing of George Floyd have only amplified that stress for persons of color and others in our communities. In partnership with our Employee Assistance Program, mental health professionals, and VA chaplains, we encourage VA employees and Veterans to seek counseling as you face these challenging and uncertain times.
Our police cannot operate in a free society without the trust of the communities in which they serve; likewise, a community’s residents cannot trust police officers to be fair if they are on record as acting unjustly toward others. VA NorCal police officers are committed to providing sound, professional, and courteous judgment to everyone. If we should ever fall short, we should be the first to hold ourselves accountable. Toward that end, I invite further dialogue and participation from VA employees and Veterans across Northern California.
Chief of Police