Boost in Veterans Affairs police powers sought

The Columbus Dispatch

CINCINNATI — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants Veterans Affairs police designated as law-enforcement officers with authority beyond VA property, citing an Ohio case in which a shooter fled a medical center.

Ohio’s Democratic senator asked VA Secretary Robert McDonald for the change in a letter sent on Thursday. VA police officers currently don’t have immediate authority beyond VA property, and that could hinder their ability to respond to threats, Brown said.

The senator wrote McDonald that he believes VA police meet the criteria for federal law-enforcement officer designation and that McDonald is authorized to make the change.

Last year, a former VA employee responsible for a shooting at the Dayton VA Medical Center fled the facility, with VA police not having authority to immediately pursue him beyond the property, according to Brown’s office.

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Boost in Veterans Affairs police powers sought »