Guards to be armed at Kansas recruiting locations

TOPEKA, Kansas – Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general, has outlined his plan to increase force protection measures within the Kansas National Guard.

The plan is in response to the increased threat from homegrown extremists and the recent shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Governor Sam Brownback had directed the adjutant general to review security measures and provide recommendations on security enhancements. The additional security practices will not be revealed in detail for operational security purposes, but focus areas include access control, increased security personnel presence and enhanced incident response.

“We are taking a wide-angle view of security measures, looking at every aspect,” said Tafanelli. “But among the first things we are addressing is the safety and security of our recruiters.”

Certain security measures were put in place at recruiting locations immediately following the tragedy in Tennessee. One additional aspect of increased security will include the arming of select individuals at Kansas National Guard facilities.

“Arming individuals at recruiting locations is an important component of ensuring the safety of those who serve and the communities in which they live and work,” said Brownback. “I remain committed to making sure we take every possible action to confront potential threats and protect Kansans across the state.”

The Kansas National Guard will continue to assess its security posture based on an ongoing threat assessment and will implement other changes as necessary.

The Adjutant General’s Department has submitted a supplemental budget request for additional state funding for the initial security enhancement measures.

Editors note: Details in paragraph five were changed after the Kansas Adjutant General released a corrected version of their previous press release Friday afternoon. The previous version of paragraph five read: “…select individuals at each of the Kansas Army National Guard and Kansas Air National Guard recruiting locations.”

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