Skip to Content


The departments newest Lieutenants Melanie Rininger, Harold Persson, Charles Bassett, and Warren Edward
The departments newest Lieutenants Melanie Rininger, Harold Persson, Charles Bassett, and Warren Edwards. Photo by: Adam Cyr


 In another first for the Altoona VA, four VA Police Department officers were recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (Supervisory). Currently, there are no direct lines of succession from Officer rank to Deputy Chief or higher. Based on VISN 4 projections and a department reorganization, these promotions now provide the opportunity of direct line succession. Harold Persson, US Army, Melanie Rininger, US Army, Charles Bassett, US Army, and Warren Edwards, US Marine Corps, embody “Veterans Serving Veterans”, having more than 45 years of military service and 33 years of VA law enforcement experience between them.

Changes are on the horizon for the department. However, these changes serve to increase Veteran satisfaction and to have proper oversight between the junior officers. For the first time in the department, the new lieutenants ensure a supervisor is working every shift. As another added benefit, Veterans now have the opportunity to speak with a supervisor or someone “in charge”. Veterans and staff can expect to see improved response times and maintain the facilities 5-star patient satisfaction rating.   

David McCallay, Deputy Police Chief, understands what this means for the officers, Veterans, and facility, “These promotions not only will allow for upward  progression and professional growth of the officers,  but also allow our veterans and stakeholders access to a Supervisory Police Officer during duty and non-duty hours. These four promotions are a true testament of the VA I-Care Values and exemplify the dedication towards the safety and protection of those who served.” said McCallay.

VA Police Officers are sworn Federal Police Officers. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a VA Police Officer, apply online at

See all stories