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  • Veterans Affairs Police

    Hey All,
    I just interviewed for the Veterans Affairs Police in St. Louis MO. Allthough they are not covered under the Law Enforcement Retirment it's still a better gig than most local departments with better benefits, retirment as well as equipment. So, I am thinking about following through with the position but was wondering if anyone is familiar with the PT test at their academy?

  • #2
    Physical Fitness

    The PT at the Academy is kind like a joke, there are some days that you will be doing organized PT, and yet there are days you PT own your own. Mostly depends on the class your with. As for the PT Test its a mile run, push ups and sit ups. I havent seen anyone fail the test yet.

    If you have anymore qestions just PM me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DDixon1000 View Post
      Hey All,
      I just interviewed for the Veterans Affairs Police in St. Louis MO. Allthough they are not covered under the Law Enforcement Retirment it's still a better gig than most local departments with better benefits, retirment as well as equipment.
      It seems the opposite would be true in terms the pay, retirement, equipment, and benefits of the VA Police when compared to any of the local PD's in St. Louis and St. Charles County. Just comparing the pay/retirement/benefits of the St. Louis County PD to the VA Police is night and day. St. Louis County PD has a better starting pay, much better benefits (lower health insurance costs, more vacation days per year related to years of service, better retirement), more more expansive and better equipment. I know some of the small suburbs in St. Louis County pay even more....alot more than a GS-5/7/9.

      Comment


      • #4
        Va

        Thats what I would have thought too and it looks like when you compare starting salaries and so but in the long run I was told by on of the Officers with OT, shift diff, and Sunday time and a half, he expects to make around 70,000 this year and he's only been with the VA for around 4 years. They work 12 hour days but can work as much OT as they want at time and a half on the 3 and 4 day stretches they have off he told me. As far as benefits and retirement I was told by a county guy the cost of him and his family members was over 300 a month out of pocket. The VA Officer told me for him and his kids its under 100 a month through the feds. I was also told the County retirement is under Lagers which takes 6% of your monthly pay and contributes it toward your retirment. The officer I spoke too said if you pay nothing else in but the 6% your monthly benefit at retirement is around $450. The VA Officer also told me by taking a VA job you get time in grade and status candidate status in order to apply for other Fed jobs such as ICE, USMS, and so on that the county wouldn't. Seems like the VA might be a better stepping stone if thats the case and that the feds have better benefits. I also could be being fed a bunch of bull. You know how it is, everyone thinks their departments the best lol!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DDixon1000 View Post
          Thats what I would have thought too and it looks like when you compare starting salaries and so but in the long run I was told by on of the Officers with OT, shift diff, and Sunday time and a half, he expects to make around 70,000 this year and he's only been with the VA for around 4 years May be true with his agency but not my VA.. They work 12 hour days but can work as much OT as they want at time and a half on the 3 and 4 day stretches they have off he told me. As far as benefits and retirement I was told by a county guy the cost of him and his family members was over 300 a month out of pocket. The VA Officer told me for him and his kids its under 100 a month through the feds Mine is 170 a pay period (every two weeks). I was also told the County retirement is under Lagers which takes 6% of your monthly pay and contributes it toward your retirment. The officer I spoke too said if you pay nothing else in but the 6% your monthly benefit at retirement is around $450. The VA Officer also told me by taking a VA job you get time in grade and status candidate status in order to apply for other Fed jobs such as ICE, USMS, and so on that the county wouldn't(BS) . Seems like the VA might be a better stepping stone if thats the case and that the feds have better benefits. I also could be being fed a bunch of bull. You know how it is, everyone thinks their departments the best lol!
          IGNORE LIST - Banastretarlton AKA "banana boy"

          "In the fields of observation chance favors only prepared mind"
          -----Louis Pasteur

          "Sweat in training saves blood on the battlefield."

          -------Col. David "Hack" Hackworth

          On my 7 year old 2nd Grade Class wall

          ------------YOU are RESPONSIBLE for YOUR OWN ACTIONS

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          • #6
            Va

            Really? I must be getting fed a line then. Seems like your medical would be the same as his. He must just be trying to talk his department up then I guess. So, you don't get to apply for status candidate positions being with the VA?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DDixon1000 View Post
              Thats what I would have thought too and it looks like when you compare starting salaries and so but in the long run I was told by on of the Officers with OT, shift diff, and Sunday time and a half, he expects to make around 70,000 this year and he's only been with the VA for around 4 years. They work 12 hour days but can work as much OT as they want at time and a half on the 3 and 4 day stretches they have off he told me. As far as benefits and retirement I was told by a county guy the cost of him and his family members was over 300 a month out of pocket. The VA Officer told me for him and his kids its under 100 a month through the feds. I was also told the County retirement is under Lagers which takes 6% of your monthly pay and contributes it toward your retirment. The officer I spoke too said if you pay nothing else in but the 6% your monthly benefit at retirement is around $450. The VA Officer also told me by taking a VA job you get time in grade and status candidate status in order to apply for other Fed jobs such as ICE, USMS, and so on that the county wouldn't. Seems like the VA might be a better stepping stone if thats the case and that the feds have better benefits. I also could be being fed a bunch of bull. You know how it is, everyone thinks their departments the best lol!
              Remember anybody can throw out a figure with working overtime. Heck I bet there are guys/gals who literally LIVE at their job and make a ton of money. Look at the base salary, period. What does the same local officer make working the same amount of OT, shift differential, holiday pay, etc? MUCH more than any VA officer. Don't get too hung up on the OT thing otherwise you will get too dependent on what you 'could' make with overtime. Local agencies not only have internal OT jobs, but external off-duty ones (the best). Generally speaking at most police agencies overtime is calculated at a percentage of your hourly wage. In St. Louis, the locals will ALWAYS make more in OT per hour than a VA Officer. In addition, they (locals) can work off-duty cush gigs.

              As for the health insurance part, with the expection of the postal service, all federal employees have the same health options. I'm not aware of any family health plan that only costs $100 per month. If so, it must be ten steps BELOW the worst HMO plan.

              As for 'status', yes you will get status after one year and can apply for other jobs, but generally speaking your starting pay lets say as a DUSM would be higher anyways since they are on a LE scale (plus get LEAP or AUO), while VA Police are not.

              And for retirement, the non-LE federal retirment is about as bad as it gets. Trust me 6c is not much better. Most of the St. Louis agencies are well paid and should have a good retirement benefit as well. As a VA officer you will only get 30% of your salary after working 30 years. Most large agencies in St. Louis (and larger St. Charles County) should have a better retirement than that. Maybe some podunk pd in the middle of nowhere, but with the high salries in St. Louis, retirement benefits should be up there as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                WOW! I never realized being a FED was so rough lol. I was always under the impression any FED job was a good job. I guess I need to look for a LE FED gig that falls under the LE Retirement. I've applied for ICE and the National Park Service also. I'm assuming they fall under the LE Retirement. I am just waiting to hear something about the next step. I've revceived my NOR's but thats about it. I appreciate the heads up! D

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not saying federal LE is not a good job, but just have realistic expectations of what you will be earning and the benefits. Just about every gun toting position in ICE is 6c covered and all NPS Protection Rangers are LE covered for retirement as well. Both are good places to work. There is not are much upward movement available in NPS compared to ICE, but people don't take jobs with NPS for that...like real estate its all about location, location, location. Who wouldn't want to have Yosemite, Yellowstone, or another national park as their "office"?

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                  • #10
                    oh, to have Glacier as my 'office'. I'm pursuing BP in addition to NPS, NPP, BLM...
                    trainee

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                    • #11
                      Anyone have any info on upcoming openings with Vet. Aff. in the Metro NY area?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was looking at USAJOBS and it appears as though the starting pay for VA Police and TSA Screeners are about the same give or take a grand. Is there a reason for this or is there something I'm missing?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          DDixon,
                          What is it that would make them a "better gig" then local departments?

                          As far as pay. Anyone can make anything with OT, court, etc..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I know the VA police in STL just got a new chief (retired STL CO PD) and he just got the officers 10% retention pay (yearly); they have a special pay scale in in STL and GS6-1 is somewhere between $36,000-37,000 a year without retention thrown in.

                            They work 12-hr shifts with 3-day weekends every other week. 10% shift differential (6pm-6am); and 25% more of your hourly wage for working Sundays. The healthcare benefits (FEDS) are way better than STL county's. Plus, the VA officers get a COLA yearly. My buddy just retired from STL CO and his healthcare is $675.00 a month; another buddy of mine just retired from the VA and his healthcare is a little over $100.00 a month.

                            I know several STL CO officers who have about 10 years experience and they are still not making $50,000 a year. You can see what county officers make here. Just type in police officer and you'll see what they make.

                            http://bridge.caspio.net/dp.asp?AppK...3d8d6g0e1i3c3f

                            The VA has some great bennies. No traditional pension, though. You get a small annuity and the govt's version of a 401k plan---theTSP (about a 5% match). Different VAs work different shifts. Getting to one that works 12-hr shifts is great as you'll usually get a 3-day weekend every other week. I work for the VA (not in STL, though) and I enjoy my job. I make good bucks (not $70,000 but I'll do around $58,000-60,000 this year) for the area I live (Rocky Mtns) and I really love those 3-day weekends to get out and explore the mountains...

                            I think the VA is a great gig for a retired officer, too...

                            Happy Trails,

                            RS
                            Last edited by RangerSven; 10-30-2008, 02:26 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sled View Post
                              Anyone have any info on upcoming openings with Vet. Aff. in the Metro NY area?
                              I know Manhattan is still looking for 8. Bronx had a GS-06 announcement out for 10. The only other current announcement is for Bath NY.

                              I had about 6 St. Louis guys in my LETC class in Little Rock. From what I remember, its several facilities in the county and they rotated between all of them.
                              I don't answer recruitment messages....

                              Comment

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