The U.S. is taking steps to put armed sailors at recruiting centers in the wake of the July 16 attack in Chattanooga, a spokesman confirmed Friday.
“The arming of personnel at these facilities provides both a deterrent value and a defensive capability against potential attacks,” Capt. Ray Benedict wrote in a statement.
A year ago, a 24-year-old gunman pulled up to a recruiting center on Lee Highway and opened fire from a convertible. One recruiter was wounded, but no one was killed.
Then, the shooter drove across town to the U.S. Naval and Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway, where he shot and killed four , and mortally wounded a U.S. sailor.
The move to station armed sailors is one of several changes to security and policy that have been made after the attack.
The allocated $80 million this year to make physical changes to recruiting centers, according to Benedict’s statement. The money will be used to “install access controls, visual identification systems and perform physical changes to some buildings.”
There are 1,366 recruiting centers across the nation, and personnel in 70 of those centers have been “temporarily relocated” because the sites’ layouts would make it difficult for personnel to escape in the event of an attack, according to the .
The has also put in place a system to allow recruiters to use their cell phones to quickly alert all other nearby recruiters of an attack, according to the statement.
All personnel will also be required to go through active shooter training within 90 days of reporting for duty, followed by annual refresher courses.
Armed men and women already guard the 71 reserve centers nationwide, like the one on Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga, according to a statement from the .
The July 16 attack in Chattanooga has also prompted changes from the .
In May, Ash Carter said the was developing a way to more quickly warn installations of a nearby attack, and said that the department would spend an extra $100 million on protecting personnel.
And just this month, a spokesperson with the said the DoD had “revised its arming policy to further specify commanders’ authority to include use of privately owned and government weapons both on and off installations.”
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