Skip to Content

Officer Crosses Bridge with his Skills

Stark shaking hands with Chief Durban
Stark shaking hands with Chief Durban

Think the only way to help Veterans at a hospital is to be a nurse? There are many different paths for Veterans to help other Veterans when working at a hospital. Law enforcement is one of those paths.

Enlisted Navy member, Nicholas B. Stark, knew he wanted to work with Veterans after he retired from the Navy, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish this.  As retiring from active duty from the Navy became closer, Stark learned about SkillBridge training.  SkillBridge trains service members to become police officers.  This program offers hands-on training and is intended to be a training program for service members about to be released from active duty. Service members may participate in a SkillBridge opportunity no earlier than 180 days prior to release from active duty. This was a perfect fit!

Stark completed his internship at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, in Fayetteville, AR. He then successfully completed the training academy for the VA Police, and graduated in December, as a credentialed VA Police Officer. 

Officer Stark stated, “I was able to return to my Navy active-duty station and out-processed, and begin my career with the VA Police, with no break in service between my Expiration Term of Service (ETS) from the Navy and my Entry on Duty (EOD) with VHSO Police.”  

VA Police Officers serve as frontline security for Veterans, safeguarding and helping when needed.  They are a vital key in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Veterans and their loved ones when on federal property. VA Police Officers serve as a protective uniformed police force to deter and prevent crime, maintain order, and investigate crimes (ranging from summary to felony offenses) which may have occurred within the jurisdiction of the department or its federal assets.

“We appreciate the skills the Navy taught Stark as a Master-at-Arms, and how he has already increased the professionalism and knowledge as a VA Police Officer,” says Phillip Durbin, VHSO Chief of Police.

“VHSO is proud to have an officer from the SkillBridge Program,” said Chief Durbin.  “Officer Stark is a phenomenal addition to our VA Police Team. “