By Frank Lewis
The governors of the adjoined states of Ohio and Kentucky have taken steps to protect military personnel in the wake of the shooting deaths of four Marines and one member of the U.S. Navy at a military facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
At the instruction of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich, the Adjutant General of Ohio Major General Mark E. Bartman is updating policies and training requirements for personnel at Ohio National Guard recruitment offices and reviewing all security measures at those facilities – granting authorization for them to carry a firearm.
“The governor has made it very clear that we must take action to protect our members who are actively engaged in public recruitment efforts,” Bartman said. “We are updating our policies and strengthening small firearm training so that those men and women staffing our recruitment offices may protect themselves in the event of a threat.”
Earlier this week, Ohio temporarily closed four of its Ohio National Guard “store front” recruitment offices in Painesville, Findlay, Columbus and Dayton in response to the Chattanooga, Tennessee shootings. Staff at those facilities have been moved to nearby armories.
Attempted calls to the Portsmouth office of the Army National Guard were unanswered.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear also issued an executive order authorizing Adjutant General Edward Tonini to enhance security at state National Guard facilities and recruiting stations.
The order tells Tonini to immediately implement additional policies consistent with state law. Department of Military Affairs spokesman David Altom said those policies include things like rehearsing active shooter drills and ensuring doors are locked.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.