Veterans Affairs reviews security aft...

Veterans Affairs reviews security after shooting

There are 4 comments on the Navy Times story from May 8, 2014, titled Veterans Affairs reviews security after shooting. In it, Navy Times reports that:

Department of Veterans Affairs officials are reviewing security locally and nationally because of a shooting at a veterans hospital in southwest Ohio this week.

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Viet Nam Veteran

Chillicothe, OH

#1 May 8, 2014
The VA has already been "reviewing its Security". There is a proposial to reduce the pay of their Police Officers. For years, Congressional committees and Veterans Organizations have complained about the staffing levels, qualtity of the VA Police training and overall Police funding levels. A consistant pattern of under staffing and hiring less than highly qualified applicants has repeatedly emerged. Finding and retaining highly qualified Law Enforcement Officers has been a consistant problem for the VA. The VA has been so back logged with training its new hires that some are employed 6-9 months BEFORE they are able to recieve their training at the Va Police Training Center in Little Rock Arkansas. The ONLY place a VA Police Officer can be qualified to protect the employees and patients of our VA Medical Centers. The VA tried to control this hiring problem by refusing calls by many groups to allow these Officers to be considered "Federal Law Enforcement Officers" for the purpose of recieving both Law Enforcement Pay and retirement. Why? One answer from the VA is "embrassing Federal Law Enforcement status would eliminate too large a group of potential candidates". Another explanation is that it would make it much easier for the best VA Police Officers to transfer to REAL Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. Who are the group of potential candidates the VA is protecting? They are retirees from the military, other Federal & State Law Enforcement agencies. 60% or more of the current crop of VA Police Chiefs are direct hires from this group of retirees. That's because the VA has a poor track record of training and recruiting its Supervisors from within, choosing to seek those Supervisors from other agencies instead of promoting from within. Created in the early 70's, the VA Police were not even armed with a firearm until the early 2000's and than only after six VA Police Officers had died in the line of duty, none of them were from the Supervisory ranks.
Greg Bennett

Georgetown, SC

#2 May 12, 2014
I was an Asst. Chief of Police at the Manhattan VA. The Chief of Police covered up the brutal beating of a veteran. The Chief hired his brother in law who assaulted our female police supervisor,who was a disabled veteran. The offender got promoted. The Chief of Police was investigated by me for patient abuse when he was a GSA contract security supervisor. Employees sold drugs and guns. The Chief of Building Management gave oral sex in his office and gave criminals medical center keys to steal Government property. My best friend VAPO Ronald Herns was shot and killed in cold blood by drug dealers at the Bronx VA. Windows lacked safety devices at the Manhattan VA and a retired Colonel jumped to his death like a paratrooper. The VA Director told me to lie on my report and write that the window had a safety devise. The VA Director said he didn't care if two sildiers died, just get them the hell out of his hospital ! After 24 years I resigned. VA is corrupt.
Greg Bennett

Georgetown, SC

#3 May 12, 2014
Several patients were poisoned to death at the Mahattan VA and it was covered up! This was reported to me by NCC May Mayor, the Chief of Quality Assurance. May told me to contact the FBI while she stood by to speak to the Duty Agent. The FBI contacted our Director declining an investigation. Our Director said we would be fired for going outside the agency. The VA is corrupt. The VAOIG is just there to protect the Director.
Viet Nam Veteran

Chillicothe, OH

#4 May 12, 2014
Greg Bennett wrote:
My best friend VAPO Ronald Herns was shot and killed in cold blood by drug dealers at the Bronx VA.
Yep, Officer Hearns was murdered while working a metal detector ALONE and unarmed when there should have been 2-3 ARMED VAPO's working. He was wearing his own vest because the VA would not provide them at the time. Always heard that his back-up had their hands on the shooter and was forced to back off by the first scumbag. Also heard that the two people involved were never found. Is that true? Did you know Carlos Silva when he was at the Bronx? I knew VAPO Leonard Wilcox who, along with Officer Mark Decker died on 1-31-86 at the Brecksville VAMC. Also working unarmed and the feds would not even prosecute, leaving it to Brecksville PD to handle the investigation. A total of 4 VA police Officers died by gunfire before the deaths of several Medical Staff members FORCED the VA to arm its Police Officers. Of course the VA has never allowed their POs to be elevated to the Status of Federal Law Enforcement Officers for the purpose of retirement or pay, now they want to gut what they have by reducing pay grades.

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